Economic stress dips nationwide, edges up in Harris County

Economic stress may be holding many home sales.While economists say the economic recession technically ended last summer, the Associated Press says its Economic Stress Index still shows things aren't yet going smoothly.The index, which measures unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies, declined in 34 states and in more than 60 percent of counties nationwide in January. And while the mark of 11.2 was down significantly from a mark of 11.9 a year earlier, it still remains above 11 – the point at which the country is considered stressed.Moving against the national trend, the Houston real estate market saw rising economic stress during the month, which may have affected residential sales in the area.The stress index for Harris County increased by 0.49 over the month to a mark of 10.51, although that was still below the national average. Montgomery County fared somewhat better, with its stress level finishing the month at 9.45.However, job growth has improved in the area. A report from the Texas Workforce Commission found that local employers had added more than 50,000 positions over the past year.Courtesy of 2M Realty News?

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