Unemployment and The Bay County Real Estate Market

by Wendell Browne on March 1, 2016

Bay County has experienced unemployment issues over the last 8+ years like many areas. The unemployment rate peaked in January of 2011 reaching some 12.5%. Over the last five years, the unemployment rate has gradually decreased and held steady during the last six months of 2015. Bay County closed out 2015 with a 5.1% unemployment rate.

One of the things that I noticed in looking at the local stats I maintain, is while the area has experienced a decline in the unemployment rate, the work force has also decreased. Yes, our area is subject to a seasonal influx and thus the swing in numbers in the labor force can vary, but still, some of the numbers I see suggest a diminishing labor force which is not good for the housing market. (As you view the charts below, you can adjust the slider on either side to zoom in or out.)


To further analyze this, I’ve looked at the data over the last five years from a Quarterly basis perspective and the numbers support the same – decline in the labor force. The data indicates a consistent jump in the labor force in Quarters 2 and 3 on an annual basis. This is to be expected given the seasonal trends of Panama City Beach and the additional jobs created during the peak tourism season.



In summation, while the Bay County residential market continues to regain ground from prior losses experienced after the housing crash, this ingredient will be a key part of the housing recipe in the next few years moving forward.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ryan Lundquist

Nice job Wendell. I like how you said, “while the area has experienced a decline in the unemployment rate, the work force has also decreased”. Key point. If less people are working, a decline in the unemployment rate really doesn’t mean as much.


2 Wendell Browne

Thank you, Ryan. Absolutely on the Key point.
Thanks for stopping by.


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