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Local economy remains worrisome for many

Posted September 14, 2010

Economy
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— More than 2,700 people attended a Tuesday job fair sponsored by WRAL and the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, hoping to latch on with one of dozens of companies at the event looking to fill more than 1,000 openings.

Randall Parks, who has been out of work since May 2009, said he remains hopeful of landing a job.

"I can see things improving just a little bit, but at the same time, it doesn't seem like it's coming fast enough," Parks said.

Others at the WRAL Joblink Career Expo in downtown Raleigh were less optimistic.

"They keep saying it's getting better, but I don't see any evidence," said Raymond Piatt, who has been looking for a job for about a year. "If I don't get a job soon, I'm going to lose everything."

Piatt's pessimism is in line with the findings of a new WRAL News Poll, in which two-thirds of those surveyed said they believe North Carolina's economy will be the same or worse next year than it is now.

Job seekers at job fair Local economy remains worrisome for many

"When you talk to people on the street, there's clearly a lot of concern and worry," said Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

Minton said he sees positive signs in the economy. Residential building permits were up by 16 percent in Wake County through the first eight months of this year, and the local unemployment rate is down to 8 percent.

Still, he said, he's concerned that public perception about the economy becomes reality.

"You have to be careful with perception because it makes our decisions for us. No matter what the facts are, it's how we feel when it comes to spending our money," he said.

Until people start spending, companies will hold back on hiring.

"At some point, we've got to start investing in our community and in our economy because that's the only way it's really going to get going again," Minton said.

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  • Justin T. Sep 15, 2010

    "and wait until BeeHiveBev and Bassnighty come to us in the next 10 months and tell us there is no other way, we have to raise everyone's taxes by 12% or we'll have no schools, no police, no firemen, nothing left. It's up to you good citizens."

    I thought Bev's "sin tax" hikes were supposed to do the trick. Since the bad citizens did their part via 127-150% cigarette and alcohol tax increases... it is indeed up to the "good" citizens to slop the government hogs now.

  • MakoII Sep 15, 2010

    map1agmachining,

    Yep, a 15 year and a 10 year are even better!

    I did the refi and was told that unlike a friend who got ALL their refi-costs paid for by the lender, I couldn't do that.

    Why?

    I wasn't borrowing ENOUGH!! You have to borrow more than 125k to be eligible! (or else they can't make enough money off of you on such a low interest rate, so borrow MORE! brilliant...)

  • map1agmachining Sep 15, 2010

    Refi is hard right now. I did a month ago 4.5 on a 20 year. Had to sign a phonebook amout of paperwork.
    Savings unbelievable, on how much goes to principle now. I'm guessing I'm thanking GWB on this. He was to blame I'm told.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Sep 15, 2010

    and wait until BeeHiveBev and Bassnighty come to us in the next 10 months and tell us there is no other way, we have to raise everyone's taxes by 12% or we'll have no schools, no police, no firemen, nothing left. It's up to you good citizens. Support our massive tax hike or lock your doors and borrow some school books.

    And to builders make slim profits, who are you lying to. I ain't believing you one bit. I've seen many builders homes, their cars, their country club membership and their other goodies. They're making plenty, it's called volume!

  • MakoII Sep 15, 2010

    anti-Mako II,

    This is tough times if your unemployed or never saved your money, but for those of us who bought the right size house and save money its a boon!

    I too have more than 50% equity, have zero problem getting credit, but I decided to just cut up my credit cards as they raised interest rates for no reason. I've had 10% since 1999, and now they want to go to 15%? CUT!

    It's cheaper to loan yourself money from your Mortgage with refi prices down at 3.75-4.75 than to borrow from a Credit Card.

    And if you have cash, you can get anything you want.

    But maybe this past downturn will teach people the value of a dollar and the value of saving your money, instead of buying too much house, too much junk you can't even fit your car in the garage, and obesity.

    I wish this downturn was worse. It's so easy people are just going to go back to their old destructive ways in 2 years time.

    I commend people for saving, regardless of how it hurts the economy.

  • MakoII Sep 15, 2010

    br549znc,

    Don't you think a lot of that is the Brokers fault? They charge a percentage where everyone else (lawyers, etc) charge a flat fee.

    Yet what do they do for you? Nothing. And what are they responsible for if you find you bought next to a Hog Farm? Nothing.

  • anti-Hans Sep 15, 2010

    And maybe if the homebuilders didn't charge such exhorbitant prices people would want to spend. But until that happens the housing market will stay flat at best.
    br549znc

    The builders charge prices according to costs to build. Builders profit margins are slim - there is no gouging. The builders had been building what the market was seeking. The problem is people all of sudden could not get loans to finance the new homes.

    I know of one builder that a customer was paying $500K in cash and was trying to get a loan for the other $300K, but jumbo loans are almost non-existent now.

    I have a credit score of over 800, have 50% equity in my house, no other debt, and had trouble getting approved for a refinance. It was amazing the hoops I had to jump through, and I almost said never mind as it is not worth it. FanMae (the whole name will be censored) and Freddie are to blame and now even legit people have trouble getting approved. That is the problem.

  • Finz Up Sep 15, 2010

    MakoII has the facts folks......Things are doing great under Obama......Go out and spend, spend, spend.

    I'm hanging on to mine!

  • br549znc Sep 15, 2010

    People better save as much as they can.....that's what I'm doing.

    FlipOffAFriendToday is correct. And maybe if the homebuilders didn't charge such exhorbitant prices people would want to spend. But until that happens the housing market will stay flat at best.

  • MakoII Sep 15, 2010

    People "worrying" about the economy doesn't mean the local economy is in trouble. Those are just gut opinions. Not facts.

    August Retail Sales best in 5 months:
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/15/681818/august-retail-sales-rise-gain.html

    Openings for Tech jobs in NC grows 15% from July to August:
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/14/679930/openings-grow-for-tech-jobs.html

    The DOW is up to 10500 and since the top 1% control 83% of ALL the stocks, they don't seem to be either "hoarding" or "fearing" upcoming taxes or a sluggish economy.

    I have stats. You can keep your girlish feelings. They aren't facts.

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