The quality and stability of the housing we live in is a critical element to our health and well-being. Families that lack access to stable, affordable, safe, and clean housing are more likely to experience stress and depression, be exposed to unsafe environmental conditions (e.g., mold), and are more likely to be displaced or end up homeless.
The chart below shows the month-over-month change in foreclosures, which have slowed in the past three months. Foreclosures in May 2011 dropped 24 percent compared to May 2010.
Since May 2010, over 33,000 jobs have been added to Washington’s economy. The gains are primarily in the private sector, and over two-thirds of the gains have occurred in 2011.
In spite of these gains, unemployment remains stubbornly high in Washington and King County, although the rate in King County is continuing to decline.
In May 2011, the unemployment rate in Washington dropped slightly to 9.1 percent, while the Seattle metropolitan area decreased from 8.7 percent to 8.6 percent. Seattle regional unemployment has remained consistently below national and state levels since the beginning of the recession, although still high by historical standards.
The unemployment rate in King County decreased for the fourth month in a row, dropping from 8.7 percent in February to 7.9 percent in May. Over 1,300 fewer people in King County were looking for work in April compared to May.
Between April 2011 and May 2011, Washington lost 700 jobs. The private sector lost 900 jobs, and the public sector added 200 jobs over the month.