Retail stocks have dropped over the last couple months at the largest companies we’re all familiar with, all shown in this article about Retail Red Flags, but in the Southeast United States the consumer seems healthy along with low unemployment and job growth. Florida is part of this region that’s seeing drops in jobless claims, which is a good thing, and the Tampa Bay MSA showed great strength by creating 34,000 jobs last month and remaining first in the state for job demand.
Unemployment and Retail
Even reading the US Leading Economic Index creates a pause due to another decline, which is associated with manufacturing and unemployment claims. Comparing this to the Retail Red Flags article shows that most of that manufacturing decline is in the Midwest where the manufacturing sector takes on a bigger percentage of influence on that region’s GDP when compared to the rest of the US. Yet, when reading further we see that Florida counties are improving in manufacturing and adding jobs at the 3rd highest rate in the US, with salaries that are higher than previous averages. For once, we’re happy as a state that we don’t have much manufacturing, and that our efforts to increase that sector are working!
Impact on Housing
Housing starts and construction is the bright side to all the latest news, with building permits in October growing by 5% and that is the fastest rate since 2007, with multi-family starts leading the way when you break it out to a categorized level of multi-family and single-family permits. With low-interest rates, strong wages, healthy job gains and new households being formed there’s clear reason for growth in housing starts and new permits. And again…the South is leading the way by leaps and bounds with 6.8% growth in October 2019.
Florida also comes in at the top of the list for States You Don’t Want To Leave! So once people move here and show up in our population growth statistics, they don’t want to move back as often. Proving that what a lot of people are thinking lately could be true…. Tampa Bay is insulated from what see coming soon, in the cold this winter.
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