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States Hardest Hit by Housing Lead Jobs Recovery

Bloomberg (03/10/12) Steve Matthews

The states that were most hurt in the real estate collapse over the past five years—Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada—added 222,100 jobs from August through December, accounting for 28% of the increase in U.S. employment in that period. Their outperformance may continue, say economists at Moody’s Analytics Inc. and IHS Global Insight.

Households in these states—where homes have lost on average half of their value since the 2006 peak in the housing bubble—are healing after cutting debt and bolstering their net worth, says Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Their stabilization may signal a broader improvement by U.S. consumers that supports a faster expansion in employment growth. Meanwhile, the broadening national recovery is helping local industries, including gambling in Nevada, tourism in Florida and Arizona, and social networking in California.