With the recent report on home prices showing the biggest year-over-year gain in more than six years, one employment authority predicts a surge in relocation by job-seeking homeowners in 2013, which could ultimately help to accelerate the decline in unemployment rates.
“One factor that has kept unemployment rates high has been the inability of underwater homeowners to relocate for employment opportunities. With home prices bouncing back, even those who may now simply break even on a home sale might consider moving to a region where jobs are more plentiful. This could spark a more rapid decline in the unemployment rate over the next year,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
As of December, there were still more than 130 metropolitan areas where the unemployment rate stood at 8.0 percent or higher and nearly 50 where the rate was at or above 10 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, there are about 20 metropolitan areas where unemployment is below 4.5 percent.
“It is likely that employers in these low-unemployment regions are actually struggling to find available workers with the skills need to fill job openings,” said Challenger.