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Local Economy Update

March 6th, 2009 at 06:51 am

I started to post this earlier, but I don't think I did.

Unemployment surpassed 10% in California recently.

Interestingly, it seems to be hitting a different demographic. Whereas one person in every household we knew seemed to be laid off in the 2002 era (& MANY in the 2005 era) it seems our friends and family are mostly being spared, for now. (Most of them are worried, of course). & yeah, I don't remember unemployment hitting 10% in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. Did it? It's hard to believe it didn't considering our personal experience. But I don't recall it every getting that high.

It seems more low wage workers, and people in the home, construction, mortgage industry are being hit hard now.


This was also an interesting follow up post from the Sac Real Estate Blog:


Just a look at the massive empty retail space.

Looks like my neighborhood. (This is a different suburb, but yeah, looks exactly the same for all intensive purposes. BTW, we almost bought a home in "Stone Lake." Glad we didn't. We ended up buying in a truly more upscale community and I feel like it is our only saving grace right now. It's completely built, and it seems to be keeping high quality residents - ones who can pay their mortgages and are very involved in the community (both quite important in this economy). Knocking on wood that it lasts. A LOT of people paid just as much for McMansion neighborhoods that are just falling to pieces. I posted earlier, a lot of people paid a lot for their homes expecting this to be the next Beverly Hills. They are getting something more along the lines of Detroit. Our neighborhood is certainly not Beverly Hills, but we never expected it to be.

Anyway, one of the comments on this photo log was "Big Deal. This could be any city in America at one time or another?"


I don't think so. I had heard in 2007 that there was 1 million square feet unused retail and business space in my suburb. & there are like 3 of these monstrosities surrounding Sacramento. I can't imagine this has happened in every city in the U.S. 3 million square feet+ of unused space. Abandoned new home lots as far as the eye can see??? It is obviously quite extreme. I don't even want to know what those figures were today. They wanted to break ground on a couple of giant retail/business projects on our side of the freeway and they got sidelines by flood issues. Thank goodness. I'd probably rather have an empty strip mall than these levee issues. But the last thing we need is more vacant buildings. A mixed blessing I guess.

But mostly, this guy keeps me from having to go out and take a pile of pictures to show a slice of my world. He's done all the work...

Boy, it's crazy out there!

ETA: Just read the other day (mentioned in forums) 40% of homes in sacramento are "upside down." Yeowch. Some days I feel like the only 30-year-old with equity in this place. The older people keep asking me how we can afford our $2k+ monthly mortgages. & I get looks of pity. I am not sure I like being lumped in the "young and stupid" crowd. Wink But I am definitely used to it. It's just getting worse. Oh, the comments I get any more... It doesn't help I look really young. Obviously the young are hit harder because more of them bought at the peak...

4 Responses to “Local Economy Update”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    "sacrealstats" sounds like it could mean "bloody statistics" if you break it up differently than originally intended. sacreal stats, instead of sac real stats. Does "bloody stats" apply?

  2. Petunia Says:

    You might be the only 30 year old with equity. . .

  3. North Georgia Gal Says:

    You are probably the only 30 year old with equity.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    Joan - & that sums up the blog well! Hehe.

    No, definitely not the only one. But yes, widely assumed than no one in our demographic could possibly have any equity. Too many Bay Area transplants though (coming from high paying jobs and who came with equity from starter condos), to skew the numbers and confuse the locals. I had a tax client last year (elderly) who wanted to entice me to whine about our economic lot. I told him I wasn't playing - I Was from the Bay Area and we have it quite easy here. That my perspective was just very different. He was the first person to ever ask me how I afford our (Assumed) $2k monthly mortgage. But not the last! (OF course he assumed my husband works as well - I get lots of weird comments about that too. A working mom? Must be miserable and broke! Boy does that get old...)

    I saw an article today that mentioned retail is the main reason for the unemployment figures. Biggest layoffs in retail I guess.

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