Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

This week we received some good news regarding the housing market. Not much effort was made to report it elsewhere. We also received seriously good news regarding the weekly unemployment claims data, even in the aftermath of three Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

(Sep. 18) The week started with a forecast column for three upcoming reports regarding the housing market. "August Real Estate Forecast for Strength" examined the data for New Construction, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales" and saw the potential for good news across the board.

(Sep. 19) The first housing report was the new construction data. We had the best new home starts data for August since 2008. We had the best August data for new homes under construction since August 2008. We also had the best completions data since August 2008. "Strengthening August New Construction Data" goes onto more detail.

(Sep. 20) We have seen seriously low levels of existing home inventory since the end of last year. "August Existing Homes: On-track for 5.6 million" details how the Realtors Association is forecasting fewer sales than we had during 2016 and how this column is forecasting a higher value than 2016 and possibly more homes sold than were sold during 2002 - even with historically low inventory. It also details how the Average Sales Price set a record for the month of August.

(Sep. 21) Thursday is still the day that the weekly unemployment claims report s released. There has been considerable attention given to the plight if those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The authors of the weekly report somehow feel that people can receive unemployment benefits from losing their jobs prior to a hurricane's impact on land. We had "Shockingly Good Unemployment Claims Data" this week. The first-time claims were lower for the third week of September than they were for the third week of September during 1970, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.....up through 2015.We also have millions more workers eligible for benefits.

(Sep. 22) The Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report, receives a large amount of attention when it is released. Subsequent to the release of the jobs report there is data released at the state and local level. The discussion of the impact on the jobs market from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria can be measured via the economic data. The article "August, Texas, Jobs and Unemployment" examined the data that was collected prior to Hurricane Harvey impacted Texas. The data after Harvey made landfall  will not be received for another month. The jobs report will give a nationwide perspective just under two weeks from now. That report will cover the time after Harvey made landfall and before Irma hit.

The economy is improving. The politics of the nation are in disarray. For those of you impacted by the recent hurricanes, there is help for those of you who have lost jobs or are unable to get to work. Check out the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program. This program is available for those who may not normally qualify for unemployment benefits.

  • No longer has a job.
  • Is unable to reach their place of work.
  • Cannot work due to damage to the place of work.
  • Becomes the head of the household and is seeking work because former head of household died as a result of the disaster.
  • Cannot work because of a disaster-incurred injury.
  • Must not otherwise qualify for "regular" unemployment benefits.

It's the Economy!