Employment, home prices improve for major U.S. metros: Brookings

WASHINGTON Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:11am EDT

Job seekers attend a career fair at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Job seekers attend a career fair at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, January 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Employment improved and housing prices rose in most major U.S. metropolitan areas in the final quarter of 2012, but output sputtered, according to a report released on Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

The study found that among the 100 largest areas, 78 posted job gains during the fourth quarter, while job growth rates accelerated in 57 metropolitan areas.

Still, employment levels returned to where they were before the 2007-2009 recession in only 14 metropolitan areas. Six of those areas were in Texas: Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen and San Antonio.

Most metropolitan areas started 2013 with brighter job pictures than the year before. In January, 227 out of all 372 metropolitan areas in the country had unemployment rates lower than January 2012, and the rates were unchanged in 21 areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, 306 metropolitan areas gained jobs over the year.

Home prices have been rising in recent months and were up an average of 0.3 percent across the country during the fourth quarter when adjusted for inflation, according to the report from Brookings, an independent research group based in Washington, D.C. In major metropolitan areas, which typically encompass at least one large city and its surrounding suburbs, the average rise was more than double that - at 0.8 percent.

Altogether, home prices increased in 85 out of the largest 100 areas during the fourth quarter.

Brookings found the strongest improvements were in the areas that suffered the most economic damage from the housing crisis: Nevada's Las Vegas, Arizona's Phoenix, Florida's Cape Coral, California's Stockton, and Idaho's Boise. There, the increases were all around 3 percent or more.

Rising home prices are seen as an indicator of the economic recovery gaining momentum.

For local governments that use property taxes as their chief sources of revenue, the upswing will curb the major budget cuts that cities and counties have made in recent years.

Still, when it comes to economic activity, not much has changed for the typical metropolitan area. In a little less than half - 45 - output grew during the quarter, while in 55 metro areas, or slightly more than half of them, output fell.

"This marked a surprising decline in the rate of output growth from prior quarters, due overall to reduced inventories and defense spending," Brookings said.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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Comments (1)
staff3 wrote:
There is a simple solution to poor US job creation. Show me a country with weak property rights and I’ll show you a country with a weak economy and high unemployment. It’s that simple.

Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is.

“patent reform”…America Invents Act, vers 1.0, 2.0, 3.0…

“This is not a patent reform bill” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. “This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.”

Senator Cantwell is right. All these bills do is legalize theft. Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. The paid puppets of banks, huge multinationals, and China continue to brain wash and bankrupt America.

They should have called these bills the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that’s where they’re sending all our jobs.

The patent bill (vers 2, 3, etc) is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Congress passed it and Obama signed it. Who are they working for??

Patent reform is a fraud on America. Congress and Obama are both to blame. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and destroying their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. They have already damaged the US patent system so that property rights are teetering on lawlessness. This bill will only make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. In this way large firms are able to play king of the hill and keep their small competitors from reaching the top as they have. Yet small entities create the lion’s share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale destroyer of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.

Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress and Obama tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.

Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways and set America on a course for sustainable prosperity, not large corporation lobbied poverty, should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

Mar 28, 2013 12:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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