December 8, 2016
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Austin Economic Indicators report showed a slight decline in the unemployment rate, while net job growth remained flat. This led to a continued deceleration in the Austin Business-Cycle Index (which grew an annualized 2.9% in October), with the Fed indicating job weakness might be due to the difficulty in finding workers.
The financial sector’s job growth expanded by 7.7% over a three-month period through October. However, manufacturing and construction fell sharply, by 11.5%, during the same period.
Housing affordability increased during the third quarter. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, 58.7% of homes sold were affordable to a median-income family, an increase from the 56.3% reported in Q2 2016. Though the Austin metro still has the highest median-home price among Texas metros, it continues to be more affordable than Dallas, due to higher income levels.
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