California Foreclosure Blog

First off, a toast: here's to getting out of the last decade. We had multiple bubble market bursts (lest we forget the dot-com burst of 2000-2001), and the US entered the world of post-terrorism (in)security. I say good riddance to a stinker of a decade. You may be walking wounded, but hey, if you're around to read this, then the bad economy hasn't killed you. As the day to day grind of this economy continues, people seem to be weary. Ask your friends, colleagues and loved ones whether they are tired from worrying about their job, or being able to afford to keep a roof over their heads or pay for their kids' college. More likely than not, you'll hear similar accounts that reflect how the economy is going off Wall Street. Rather than bore and depress you with updated foreclosure figures (which are now easy to find online), I want to focus on a root cause of the growing and extended foreclosure mess: unemployment. In 2009, more than half of all foreclosures in California were caused by employment income loss. And given the current employment outlook for most Californians, this trend will continue to get worse before it gets better. One note to clarify the term "unemployment": while we get "official" unemployment figure announcements from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number reported is usually the "U-3" unemployment figure, which only counts those who are out of work but who have looked for work in the past 4 weeks. This number is artificially low, because it ignores anyone outside the definition. This excludes underemployed people in temp jobs, or working part-time because they can't get full-time work, and anyone out of work who hasn't actively looked for work in the past 4 weeks (maybe because their entire industry evaporated and now they need time to develop new marketable job skills).

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