New Jersey unemployment holds at 9.2%

From the WSJ:

New Jersey Sees Private Sector Job Growth

New Jersey’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.2% in November and the state gained 10,000 jobs, largely in the private sector, the state labor department said Wednesday.

“It’s a very encouraging report,” said Joseph Seneca, a public policy and economics professor at Rutgers University. “One swallow does not a summer make, and one good employment month does not an economic recovery make. But it’s encouraging and the gains were broad-based across most of the private business sectors.”

The 9,300 private sector jobs added in November marked the largest monthly gain all year. Seneca said the data show New Jersey catching up with the national trend of private sector growth, though there is still a long way to go to fill in the hole left by the recession.

New Jersey lost 245,000 jobs from January 2008 to December 2009, Seneca said.

Patrick O’Keefe, a former deputy assistant labor secretary in the Reagan administration, said the bump in jobs is “not even statistically significant.”

“We have yet to achieve traction in New Jersey,” said O’Keefe, now director of economic research at J. H. Cohn in Roseland, N.J. “We simply do not see the type of increase in number of jobs or in hours that would suggest that there is an expansion going on in New Jersey’s economy.”

The number of people working or looking for work in New Jersey fell by 4,100, helping to keep the unemployment rate at 9.2%. Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8% as more people entered the workforce, Seneca said.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate could increase in coming months as people restart their job search and rejoin the workforce on which the figure is based. That would signal a recovering job market, Seneca said.

From New Jersey Newsroom:

New Jersey unemployment unchanged

New Jersey’s struggling economy is showing little recovery.

In November, 16,800 New Jerseyans found work — much of it temporary — but another 15,600 lost their jobs, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. More than 321,000 New Jerseyans remain out of work.

Even as retailers prepared for the holiday shopping season, they laid-off 3,600 people. In the construction industry, 4,500 people found work, but another 4,500 were laid off.

The gain of 1,200 jobs had no affect on the state’s unemployment rate of 9.2 percent but Labor Department officials point out the unemployment rate was 10 percent last December.

The majority of the 16,800 new jobs were recorded at private sector businesses which added 9,300 jobs over the month. Seven of ten industry sectors posted job gains. New Jersey’s private sector employers have now added jobs in five of the past six months and have increased employment by 10,700 so far in 2010. Comparatively, 115,600 private sector jobs were lost over the first eleven months of 2009

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised higher by 1,400 jobs, resulting in an over-the-month (September-October) gain of 2,600 jobs.

In November, industries with significant job gains included construction, up 4,500 jobs, professional and business services, up 3,900, education and health services, 2,800, other services 2,200, and financial activities, 2,000. The gain in professional and business services was due to hiring in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment, 6,300, which saw increased employment at temporary help agencies. Smaller increases were recorded in manufacturing, 900, and information, 500.

Industries that experienced job loses were leisure and hospitality, down 4,500, trade, transportation and utilities, 2,900, and mining and logging, 100. In leisure and hospitality job losses were recorded in the arts, entertainment, and recreation, 2,600, and accommodation and in the food services, 1,900.

Government employment increased by 700 as local governments hired 1,100 people. But the federal government laid off 100 people and the state government cut 500 jobs.

This entry was posted in Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

141 Responses to New Jersey unemployment holds at 9.2%

  1. spyderjacks says:


  2. Confused In NJ says:

    The add on to decrease the Social Security Rate next year is a clear signal about how bad the Economy really is and how short sighted Congress is.

  3. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Robo-signers push foreclosure filings down 21% in November: RealtyTrac

    Foreclosure filings dropped 21% in November from the previous month as lenders continued to review procedures for more signs of documentation problems, according to RealtyTrac.

    There were 262,339 filings in the month, which was also down 14% from a year ago. For the first time since February 2009, filings slipped below 300,000. One in every 492 homes received either a default notice, scheduled auction or a bank repossession.

    “While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7% to 10% that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork,” RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said.

    Early December data show artificially low numbers as well, and RealtyTrac expects the delayed foreclosures from the robo-signing scandal to keep filings down until the first quarter of 2011, which only adds to the shadow inventory.

    “Even with this big drop in November we do have a continuing building inventory of properties in foreclosure or REO,” said Daren Blomquist, managing editor of the RealtyTrac reports. “We’re estimating those properties plus delinquencies to equal 3 million to 4 million homes waiting to hit the market.”

  4. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    New York housing market worse than California due to judicial foreclosures

    California has been the poster child for the subprime mortgage mess since the bubble burst in 2008. However, a November report from analytics firm 1010data show New York has bumped California out of the top five worst housing markets in the country.

    According to the November report, delinquencies in both the subprime and Alt-A mortgage sectors are higher in New York than they are in California. Approximately 44% of subprime and Alt-A mortgages in New York are 60-days or more delinquent.

    In California, approximately 38% of subprime mortgage loans and Alt-A mortgage loans are 60-days or more delinquent.

    “Securitized Alt-A and subprime loans that are being liquidated in New York haven’t made a payment in 32 months,” Green told HousingWire. “In California, however, it is only 19 months.”

  5. grim says:

    (and it appears that NJ is worse than NY)

  6. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    Record plunge in foreclosures, thanks to robo-signers

    he number of foreclosure notices filed in November plunged 21%, the biggest month-over-month drop ever recorded by RealtyTrac, the online foreclosure marketer. Filings fell 14% compared with November 2009.

    The number of Americans who actually lost their homes to bank repossessions plummeted even more steeply — to 67,428. That was off a whopping 28% from 93,236 in October. Repossessions are down a third since September.

    The drop in total filings, which include notices of default, scheduled auctions and repossessions, followed a 4% decline a month earlier. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio attributed the downtrend to fallout from the recent robo-signing controversy.

    “[That] forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork,” he said.

  7. grim says:

    From the APP:

    NJ senate committee advances historic property restoration bill

    A state Senate committee advanced a bill on Wednesday that could make it more worthwhile for an owner of an historic home or other structure to fix up the property.

    The Historic Property Reinvestment Act would provide tax breaks for rehabilitation work.

    Members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee said the tax credits will help preserve the state’s history and spur job growth in the construction trades, as has been seen in the 31 other states with similar programs. Full Senate approval could occur at Monday’s voting session. The bill already has been approved by the Assembly.

    Madison Mayor Mary-Anna Holden testified in support of the bill, saying, “This is exactly what the New Jersey economy needs.”

    Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, said the measure can reverse a “tendency to tear down old buildings rather than restore or rehabilitate them because it’s cheaper.”

    There would be two tax credits for 25 percent of the outlay for rehabilitating a historic property: one for homeowners, which would be capped at $25,000 per property during a 10-year period; and one for businesses, which would be uncapped. The homeowner’s tax credit would apply against the homeowner’s gross income tax liabilities.

    Qualifying properties would be required to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, either individually or as part of a historic district, or similarly designated.

  8. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  9. Mike says:

    Thank God for the private sector creating outsourced and temp positions. But lets not forget there’s approximately 50 good size malls throughout the state so divide that into 10,000 and you have 200 Christmas positions per mall, sounds about right.

  10. grim (7)-

    Great. Here comes the boom in getting any kind of old, POS dump designated “historical”.

    BTW…I used to do this.

  11. Nomad says:

    On another note:

    Two days after coming back from serving his country in WW2, he was back on the mound throwing.

    Old school no doubt.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    And so it begins:

    Avalanche of “Bids Wanted” for Munis, but “Nobody’s bidding”

  13. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Two things have to happen before things get better here:

    1. The Fat Man has to go poaching

    2. The dems have to wake up to reality and give him ammo.

    [this is my sleep-deprived thought of the day. Will post this afternoon after coffee and exercise]

  14. yo'me says:

    This will guarantee shortfall on SS.Nail in the coffin.Let us just bury the middleclass.They first rely on their homes as retirement money,no savings,now no SS.Work longer till you die middleclass!
    Confused In NJ says:
    December 16, 2010 at 5:59 am
    The add on to decrease the Social Security Rate next year is a clear signal about how bad the Economy really is and how short sighted Congress is.

  15. Essex says:

    Most people I know have worked well into their sixties and some beyond that.
    Don’t see that as a big deal if you are healthy, productive, and like your work.

    I plan to work as long as possible. I love to work.

  16. Essex says:

    What I am concerned about is the taxation scenario. How can taxes on a home (based on value) double over the past 8 years when in fact the value of that property has actually decreased. This it seems to me is unconstitutional.

  17. yo'me says:

    We get 12 days vacation/year,we work long hours,will work till we die.The true american dream.Where is quality of life?
    Will there be jobs for a 70 year old?
    Essex says:
    December 16, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Most people I know have worked well into their sixties and some beyond that.
    Don’t see that as a big deal if you are healthy, productive, and like your work.

    I plan to work as long as possible. I love to work.

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    17 Bitter renter, scratch that bitter homeowner. Good luck with that one buddy, “to the moon Alice”.

  19. Mikeinwaiting says:

    yo 18 The quality of life will holding your job in so having shelter & food. Welcome to the new norm.

  20. Mikeinwaiting says:

    will be, more coffee

  21. Essex says:

    18. You are in the wrong line of work or at the wrong company.

  22. Essex says:

    I love how the past time on this board is whining. Wimpering American patriots with their guns. Trying to decide where to aim. Brilliant. Boring. Pathetic.

  23. Essex says:

    Not bitter, just think it is only a matter of time until the courts see this challenged in the form of a class action style suit.

  24. yo'me says:

    What work will still be here tomorrow with employer dedication to workers?

  25. Essex says:

    Employers value productive workers that either generate income or help to run the business. Or become your own boss. Or teach. You decide.

  26. yo'me says:

    Banks Push Fed to Curb Borrowers’ Right to Rescind Mortgages

    Mortgage firms are pressing the Federal Reserve to curb homeowners’ right to invalidate loans based on flawed documents — a right consumer groups say is one of the few weapons borrowers have to battle unfair lending.

  27. chicagofinance says:


    Essex says:
    December 16, 2010 at 8:49 am
    I love how the past time on this board is whining. Wimpering American patriots with their guns. Trying to decide where to aim. Brilliant. Boring. Pathetic.

  28. Essex says:

    Ooooo chi fi. Phalllus. Bet you slobber like Homer Simpson over a pink donut when you say that.

  29. Mike says:

    Alternative to work: Nibblin’ on sponge cake,
    watchin’ the sun bake;
    All of those tourists covered with oil.
    Strummin’ my six string on my front porch swing.
    Smell those shrimp
    They’re beginnin’ to boil.

  30. yo'me says:

    Employer will use you until your value keeps up,then throw you away as you age as you make so much more.

    “Employers value productive workers that either generate income or help to run the business”

    1 in 5 starting business fails in the first year and 3 of 5 fails with in 5 years.

    “Or become your own boss”

    I will let CC answer that

    “Or teach. You decide.”

  31. Diets says: Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time :-)

  32. yo'me says:

    I will give it another 5 years.My youngest graduates college in two years and I will do just that where my dollar will go a longer way.

    “Alternative to work: Nibblin’ on sponge cake,
    watchin’ the sun bake;
    All of those tourists covered with oil.
    Strummin’ my six string on my front porch swing.
    Smell those shrimp
    They’re beginnin’ to boil.”

  33. chicagofinance says:

    End is nigh…….
    Donald Trump did MSG Network’s Q & A segment at halftime and didn’t rule out a run for president in 2012 or competing on “Dancing With The Stars.”

  34. chicagofinance says:

    albani: jealous of those seats…..I haven’t seen the Knicks play like that in about 9 years…

  35. chicagofinance says:

    I forgot that Duckie gets you moderated….

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:17 am
    End is nigh…….
    D-onald Trump did MSG Network’s Q & A segment at halftime and didn’t rule out a run for president in 2012 or competing on “Dancing With The Stars.”

  36. Essex says:

    32. Who is CC? CC Deville famed lead guitarist for the band POISON. International superstar? Or are you letting yourself be pushed around by a flailing fattie political hack?

  37. JJ says:

    Work is a pyramid scheme. In the sense look at any department. Quite often, Head of Department, Second in charge (right hand man), them 2-3 VPs/Managers, a 10-20 AVPs/Staff

    Bottom line a 50 year old guy with a 250K salary and an MBA can only be Head of Department, maybe the firm will hire him with a bit of a pay-cut to be second in charge. However, there are 20 jobs for younger people in that department.

    There are the same amount of people between 45 and 55 as there is between 25 and 35 yet there is 1/10 the white collar jobs.

    Another problem is people protect their turf. My 52 year old buddy making 500K as head of a 30 person department. Likes bringing in people over 55 who are laid off and willing to work for less and not rock the boat, also likes to bring in people under 30 willing to work hard and for little and housewives looking for a stable job and can only work 9-5 with little career aspirations between 30 and 50.

    Bringing in head of household type A people with MBAs, CPAs, Great Resume go-getters between 30 and 50 years of age to him is a ticket to losing your job. These people earn good money, want more money, want to be in charge, they come in as your friend back-stab you and eventually push you out. The problem is my 52 year old buddy only got that job when he was 48 and wants to ride it out. Bringing in a 35 year old go getter within 3 years he is pushed out the door, 55 years old and looking for work.

    Prime upper management white collar workers supporting a family with a high income and used to a certain lifestyle have few jobs to pick from as every department only has one to three good jobs. Secondly, unless they are filling a vacated head of job, not many 55 year old heads of departments want a 45 year old second in charge with aspirations when the only way to get promoted is to push you out and take your job.

  38. Essex says:

    Bingo JJ. You know sometimes I think you actually might be brilliant. (no sarcasm)

  39. yo'me says:

    It has to be the kopi luwak

  40. Essex says:

    Boldness and determination is the only thing that matters. Creativity is key.

  41. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    I still get a chuckle when these Street guys get on TV and tell us that higher mortgage rates are going to increase housing prices. Good luck with that.

  42. Juice Box says:

    re # 38 – JJ – restructuring of the middle management happens all the time. I know you don’t like what Meridith Whitney has to say but allot of those six figure middle management NY based jobs you speak so fondly are gone and may be going elsewhere. I know of a few in the middle and Head of Dept that were recently given walking papers at some of the bigger firms over the last two years mostly. They were “consolidating” departments globally etc, was the main excuse used. A friend of my took the initiative and applied a while back and transferred all the way to HK to avoid the chopping block, working a decade or more climbing the ladder only to get your legs cut out from you isn’t fun for anyone. A realitive of mine who wanted to stay in NY at JPM was recently let go during a global consolidation (with a nice package) and will be out there with the rest of those poor souls trying to get back in. Back during the layoffs of 2002 I knew plenty of hot shots that were let go back then and never got back in. Most of those guys are probably driving a backhoe by now and playing cards at the Knights of Columbus on weekends.

    Ace Greenberg was on Bloomberg this morning. He says there is no more Wall St of yore, the commercial banks won took over and they operate globally and we all need to think globally.

    Question for the crowd would you transfer overseas if there was an opportunity?

  43. make money says:

    JJ [38],

    Post of 2010.

  44. JJ says:

    Just get a job where you report to the Board or have a contract. Much easier said than done. But a high paying job where at the whim of your boss or HR you can be gone is dangerous when you have kids in school and a big mortgage.

  45. safe as houses says:

    #43 Juice Box,

    We transferred overseas (wife was transferred) to Australia for 3.5 years. We’d do it again depending on the opportunity and country, but would prefer to settle down. But if it comes down to burning through our savings or living on debt to maintin status quo and stay in the US, or live a decent life in HK, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Sydney, etc time to pack up and get out.

    I prefer living in a city to the suburbs of NJ. Except in the US seems like you need to be rich or poor to live in a city.

  46. safe as houses says:

    Also being an expat is a lot harder then you think. Once the novelty of being in another country wears off, you realize you are thousands of miles away from anyone else you know, in a different culture, with different rules and regs, work habits, costs, etc.

  47. Juice Box says:

    re: # 46- always seemed to me half of Britian has been doing that for a while now, seems like there are more “real” BnR Brits in the US, HK, Australia, New Zealand or Dubai than in London.

  48. Juice Box says:

    HoHoHo Santa is now cash and carry.

    The lowest percentage of shoppers in the 27-year-history of a national survey said they used credit cards over the Thanksgiving weekend, while the use of general credit cards like Visa and MasterCard fell 11 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to the credit bureau TransUnion.

    “Cash is the route I’m taking this year, from past experiences with credit cards and being in debt and trying to pay it off for so many years,” said Liz Gonzalez, a community-college employee in Signal Hill, Calif. Her debt problems started two Christmases ago, when she charged the gifts that turned into the bills that sent her life into disarray. Ms. Gonzalez, 40, still owes $2,200 from that Christmas, and said her recent divorce had been caused in part by the stress of debt.

    So this year, she is buying gifts only for her two children, and will use cash to stay on a $500 budget.

    “I was spending so much with them,” she said of the credit cards. “I lost control.”

    Britt Beemer, chief executive of America’s Research Group, a survey firm, said that was a common sentiment. “The consumer really feels a lot of pressure from previous debts, and they just aren’t going to dig themselves into that kind of hole,” he said. After the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, the group found that just about 17 percent were paying with credit — just over half of last year’s level and the lowest rate in the 27 years it has conducted a survey.

  49. Essex says:

    Cash is available when you aren’t paying your bills.

  50. chicagofinance says:

    Assuming this file of ETF’s is not secured, here you go….

  51. still_looking says:

    Essex says:
    December 16, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Employers value productive workers that either generate income or help to run the business. Or become your own boss. Or teach. You decide.
    We moved to this town for the “good school.”
    Teachers at the school still have no contract. Secure job? Got Unions?
    Mr. still_looking

  52. Essex says:

    52. Having no contract just means that they use the previous contract. It’s not like they are suddenly at will employees.

  53. chicagofinance says:

    To effectively reiterate what I have posted on many occasions….ETFs are institutionalized lobotomization…….

    52.chicagofinance says:
    December 16, 2010 at 10:54 am
    Assuming this file of ETF’s is not secured, here you go….

  54. NoArlington says:

    In 2 weeks FHA 30 went from 4.5% to 4.75% to 5% today. via TD Bank

    The way I see it, as potential buyer of a $280K POS, PV of rate move would require me to revalue down to $265K. If we go to 6%, the fair value is now $240K which means I’ll have some serious neg equity.

  55. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    No Arlington

    As a rule of thumb, each 0.1% rate move (i.e. 4.9% to 5.0%) requires an inverse home price move of about 1% in order to maintain the same PITI. So a move form 5% to 6% rates would require that the home price drop by 10% to maintain approximately the same PITI

  56. make money says:

    Some hand Benny a Bazooka. Helicopters are empty. Send a b2 fully loaded.

  57. Mike says:

    Essex Number 52 that’s what normally happens, but the contract has a start and end date so it’s kind of a technicality

  58. JJ says:

    Munis, are funny in bad times they just become illiquid . For buy and hold crowd as long as default is not eminent you put out bids when you want to sell and if you get no bids or low ball bids you just decline. The bid ask is also very wide now so the price you sell for is no-where near the price you can buy it back for.

    Funny part I was trying to buy yesterday and not many great deals. Muni bond holders are saying screw it I will keep my 5% tax free till maturity if I have to.

    I have a few 5.5% coupon munis that fell in value. However, my junk is up so close to a wash, if anything I am trying to sell some more junk and move more to munis.

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    December 16, 2010 at 7:29 am

    And so it begins:

    Avalanche of “Bids Wanted” for Munis, but “Nobody’s bidding”

  59. Anon E. Moose says:

    Make [57];

    Why do I have this funny picture of Benny on roller skates dressed like the Philly Phanatic or something, blasting out fountains of greenbacks from a compressed-air cannon like they do with rolled-up T-shirts.

  60. Anon E. Moose says:


    You’ve got mail.

  61. JJ says:

    what about 1999 and 2000 when rates were rising and home prices were rising?

    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    December 16, 2010 at 11:25 am

    No Arlington

    As a rule of thumb, each 0.1% rate move (i.e. 4.9% to 5.0%) requires an inverse home price move of about 1% in order to maintain the same PITI. So a move form 5% to 6% rates would require that the home price drop by 10% to maintain approximately the same PITI

  62. homeboken says:

    62 – JJ you are old enough to remember that spreads were so tight and rates were rising only because the Fed kept pumping rates in attempts to keep the bubble from getting more out of control than it did.

    As for housing prices rising, not sure that is the case. Housing prices didn’t really begin the anomoly increase years until 2002, when rates had already begun falling courtesy of AG

  63. 250K says:

    Any chance that in the very short term (1-2 months + lag time from contract) home prices actually rise as folks start to bid up some of the less picked-through inventory to lock in the 5.x% rates before they skyrocket to 6.x%?

    Not saying it would be a sustainable rise nor am I saying rates will go to 6.x%. Just picturing how the media will report that sales took off in the typically slow months of Dec/Jan as buyers rushed to lock in low rates.

  64. JJ says:

    also some “run-off” involved. Those juicy one million piece round lot investment grade bonds he was picking up left and right with 8% coupons at par in October 2008 through October 2010 are gone, along with Junk at par with a 12% coupon. Even if he does not sell with a duration of ten years or so, he got to reinvest 10% of principal each year. Coupon clipping alone won’t do it, he needs capital appreciation.

  65. wallies says:

    #43 Juice Box

    I’m all for relocating where I can get a better life. Only problem is – where? Better life for me would be to own a home and some land outright, raise a family in relative safety and security, start a small business without huge tax burdens (only local tariffs), retire before I’m very old and have accessible, affordable modern healthcare. Is there such a place? This is the Fight or Flight syndrome -sometimes it may be best to stay and fight for these things in the U.S.

  66. says:

    Interesting and informative post New Jersey unemployment holds at 9.2%.
    Thanks for helpful article. Me pleasure to read your thinks. Cheers

  67. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    JJ 62

    in order to maintain the same PITI

    I didnt comment on current or past price trends, just the mathemtical relation between PITI and home price

  68. Unexpected HEHEHE says:


    1999-2000 you had a completely different economic landscape than you do now. There’s no way you see across the board housing prices rising. There’s too much inventory as it is and even less demand.

    I pity somebody trying to sell into the coming sh*tstorm.

  69. Essex says:

    71. Screw selling, just send back the keys. Hey Hey we’re all renters now!

  70. Juice Box says:

    From CoreLogic: Home Price Index Shows Decline for Third Straight Month, October Home Prices Declined 3.93 Percent Year Over Year

    Read more:

  71. yo'me says:

    Where is the recession?

    Best waste of energy (Christmas Lights) ever!

  72. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    1999-2000 you still had the remaining “wealth effect” of the internet bubble; now you have the remaining “UNwealth effect” of the housing bubble bust.

  73. JJ says:

    remaining wealth effect of bond bubble

  74. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Interest rates and home prices have had an overall negative correlation for the last 20+ years.

  75. chicagofinance says:

    MA/V getting torn new assholes……..

  76. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Here is a nompound for you and a few dozen of your closest freinds

  77. JJ says:

    what the heck does that mean? MA/V?

    chicagofinance says:
    December 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    MA/V getting torn new assholes……

  78. A.West says:

    I think this is a good essay on how a good real estate agent can add value and earn a comission:

  79. sx (17)-

    Dunno. Why don’t you pose that question to your local public employee unions?

    “What I am concerned about is the taxation scenario. How can taxes on a home (based on value) double over the past 8 years when in fact the value of that property has actually decreased.”

  80. Essex says:

    Marketing homes to the folks on this board is a lot like trying to sell a trick to a eunuch.

  81. yo (18)-

    Yeah. The ones your grandkids won’t be able to get.

    “Will there be jobs for a 70 year old?”

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [80] cat

    That’s not a nompound, its a county.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [79] chifi

    Did you mean MC/V?

  84. chicagofinance says:

    tickers MA & V…..

    speaking of getting torn new assholes………….
    Front Page

    Wall Street Journal
    Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers

    Tri Tang, a 25-year-old marketer, walked into a Best Buy Co. store in Sunnyvale, Calif., this past weekend and spotted the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

    Last year, he might have just dropped the $184.85 Garmin global positioning system into his cart. This time, he took out his Android phone and typed the model number into an app that instantly compared the Best Buy price to those of other retailers. He found that he could get the same item on Inc.’s website for only $106.75, no shipping, no tax.

    Tri Tang uses his mobile phone app, TheFind, to scan product bar codes and immediately troll online for the best price at various retailers.

    Mr. Tang bought the Garmin from Amazon right on the spot.

    “It’s so useful,” Mr. Tang says of his new shopping companion, a price comparison app called TheFind. He says he relies on it “to make sure I am getting the best price.”

    Mr. Tang’s smartphone reckoning represents a revolution in retailing—what Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Mike Duke has dubbed a “new era of price transparency”—and its arrival is threatening to upend the business models of the biggest store chains in America.

    Until recently, retailers could reasonably assume that if they just lured shoppers to stores with enticing specials, the customers could be coaxed into buying more profitable stuff, too.

    Now, marketers must contend with shoppers who can use their smartphones inside stores to check whether the specials are really so special, and if the rest of the merchandise is reasonably priced.

    While many holiday consumers refuse to pay full price, retailers are trying to outdo one another by encouraging shoppers to spend more, but without giving away the store.

    “The retailer’s advantage has been eroded,” says Greg Girard of consultancy IDC Retail Insights, which recently found that roughly 45% of customers with smartphones had used them to perform due diligence on a store’s prices. “The four walls of the store have become porous.”

    Some of the most vulnerable merchants: sellers of branded, big-ticket items like electronics and appliances, which often prompt buyers to comparison shop. Best Buy, the nation’s largest electronics chain, said Tuesday that it may lose market share this year, a downward trend that some analysts are attributing in part to pressure from price comparison apps.

    Smartphone fans such as Mr. Tang are still a small subset of shoppers. It remains unclear whether large numbers of Americans will be willing to take the extra time to compare offers with mobile programs. Some consumers may want to deploy the technology only when buying expensive or unusual items.

    Still, store chains are increasingly concerned about the ability of mobile-equipped shoppers to tilt the balance of power in retailing toward consumers—in part because their numbers are quickly rising.

    On the Friday after Thanksgiving a year ago, consumers using mobile devices accounted for just 0.1% of visits to retail websites, according to Coremetrics, a division of International Business Machines Corp. that estimates e-commerce activity. This Black Friday, they accounted for 5.6%, for a 50-fold increase.

    E-commerce experts expect use of shopping apps to mushroom as more Americans purchase smartphones.

    Dozens of mobile shopping apps are already available through Apple Inc.’s iTunes, and programmers are busy developing many more to transform smartphones into shopping weapons. Many of them use phone cameras to photograph bar codes and QR codes, or simply let users speak a product’s name into their devices.

    TheFind app has been out for four weeks and has been downloaded 400,000 times, according to the company. RedLaser, an app that allows shoppers to use mobile-phone cameras to scan bar codes to compare products and prices, has now been downloaded six million times since it was introduced in May 2009, says parent eBay Inc.

    Although store executives publicly welcome a price-transparent world, retail experts don’t expect all chains to measure up to the harsh judgment of mobile price comparisons. Some will need to find new ways to survive.

    “Only a couple of retailers can play the lowest-price game,” says Noam Paransky, senior manager at consultancy Kurt Salmon Associates. “This is going to accelerate the demise of retailers who do not have either competitive pricing” or a standout store experience.

    Because consumers made more frugal by the economic downturn are flocking to the cheapest offers they can find, comparison shopping via smartphones is making it harder for many retailers to charge higher prices in stores than on their websites.

    “Those days are over,” says Laura Conrad, president of comparison site Despite the higher costs associated with a bricks-and-mortar store, “The line between offline and online has been blurred.”

    This week, Best Buy settled a lawsuit by the Connecticut attorney general alleging that it showed web prices at in-store kiosks that were higher than those customers saw on home computers.

    The shift in consumer behavior also imperils some of the most lucrative aspects of selling in stores, such as the ability to use salespeople to lure customers into making impulse buys, or entice them to buy one thing after they came in for another. A 10-country study by management consultant Accenture this year found that 73% of mobile-powered shoppers preferred peering into their phones for basic assistance over talking to a retail clerk.

    For diehard deal-hunters such as Mary Saunders, a Virginia mother of two, the phone is fast becoming the weapon of choice in the battle for the best bargain. Hunting for Christmas gifts on a recent afternoon, Ms. Saunders used her iPhone at several stores to scan bar codes on every item on her children’s Christmas wish lists, saving $2 here and $3 there.

    Ms. Saunders still gathers newspaper circulars and visits all the big stores near her home in Stephens City, Va., to scrutinize specials. But her phone gives her a new sense of empowerment.

    “I am slightly obsessed with getting the best deal,” says Ms. Saunders, a substitute teacher. “So to me, the bar code scanner is the coolest thing in the world.”

    While e-commerce experts say many U.S. retailers have been slow to react to the mobile trend, some are starting to see that there is upside as well as disruption: Now retailers can virtually target customers inside competitors’ stores.

    Through a partnership with TheFind, Best Buy now targets personalized advertisements to shoppers when the program detects that they are in stores such as Wal-Mart.

    If shoppers use TheFind’s free app to compare prices on TVs at Wal-Mart, for example, the phone gleans the particulars from their recent search and shows them ads of similar electronics for sale at Best Buy. The items aren’t always identical, and the prices aren’t always better, but it is an attempt by Best Buy to enter the competition, similar to the way that marketers now target special offers to consumers based on what they are searching for on home computers.

    The offers are only sent to customers who opt to allow the program to use their phone’s global positioning system to track their location. Still, some consumers have complained about the technology; one review on iTunes is titled, “Spying on Me 24/7.”

    “That is an opportunity to steal a sale right when someone is in the throes of making a decision. That is what makes mobile so powerful,” says Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge, who believes retailers must “dive in headlong” into the new environment.

    The hard sell doesn’t stop there. If a customer inside a Best Buy compares prices through TheFind and discovers a better deal elsewhere, the retailer also makes one last pitch for the sale with ads showing them deals on other products at the store, such as a similar Blu-ray player that comes with a free movie disc.

    “Instead of letting that person walk out, you are telling the customer, ‘Look, we know you’re already here, let’s make a deal,'” says TheFind’s Chief Executive, Siva Kumar. “It is not a consumer-only game. Retailers can use it to their advantage.”

    While Best Buy is aggressively entering the stores of rivals, it still refuses to match competitors’ prices shown on comparison programs. Best Buy’s guarantee applies only to deals in print advertisements by neighboring competitors, a policy Mr. Judge admits Best Buy may have to change.

    Wal-Mart plans its own countermeasures to capture mobile sales, says Gibu Thomas, the company’s senior vice president of mobile and digital strategy.

    But the company, which doesn’t see mobile-phone apps as a threat to its discount model, says it is wary of moving too rapidly and frets about being seen as Big Brother by following customers’ movements as they shop.

    “We continue to believe that we are the best-positioned global retailer for now and the years ahead,” a Wal-Mart spokesman says.

    Pure online sellers are also venturing into stores—virtually, that is—with mobile programs meant to steal away sales from bricks-and-mortar rivals. released a new comparison app last month that allows iPhone users to scan bar codes, take pictures of items on shelves or describe products by speaking into their devices, to see whether the online giant can beat the store’s prices.

    “We want customers to feel confident in their purchases, and by allowing them access to Amazon’s information wherever they are, they will be,” says Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile.

    The hassle of multiple store visits still outweighs the allure of small savings for smartphone warriors such as Matt Binder, a 24-year-old employee of a startup web company in New York City. But when presented with an option to click a button to save a few dollars, he gladly complied.

    Armed with an iPhone loaded with Amazon’s Price Check app, he was searching for holiday gifts on a recent Sunday in a Westbury, N.Y., Best Buy when he spotted a stocking stuffer, a two-gigabyte USB drive, for $11.99. He snapped a picture of it, and learned from the app that Amazon had it with more memory for $9.99.

    “I wouldn’t drive somewhere else to save $2,” he says, but he made a mental note to buy it from Amazon later when he got home, to save precious battery power on his shopping tool.

    At Wal-Mart, he saw the same flash drive, beside a big display boasting “Every Day Low Prices.” But thanks to his smartphone, Mr. Binder knew better. The advertised price was $6 higher than Amazon’s.

    Indeed, the mobile phone threatens to undercut Wal-Mart’s once novel strategy: promising to save consumers money on their overall shopping baskets instead of promoting individual items.

    “The whole notion of going to one place to buy everything in one fell swoop because you are sure of a total market-basket savings may go away,” says Leon Nicholas of consultancy Kantar Retail.

    Toys “R” Us nearly went under six years ago when Wal-Mart brutally slashed prices on popular toys in a successful bid for market share. So the toy merchant is trying to insulate itself from direct price comparisons with a strategy that focuses in part on exclusive items.

    “The most successful retailers have great product,” says Toys “R” Us Chief Executive Gerald Storch. “That always wins over everything else. Unless you’re selling coal.”

    In practice, such a strategy has limitations, however. Many shoppers, especially children, want the same thing their friends got, not something else.

    A day of shopping with Ms. Saunders in Virginia shows what retailers are up against.

    She was approached repeatedly by shop clerks who offered to help, but rebuffed them in case they tried to talk her into buying more. Her smartphone told her a DSi game on her list goes for $10 less at Best Buy and that Target has Barbie’s Fashionista dolls for the cheapest price around—by $3.

    One way stores attempt to beat this price-comparison game is by stocking products that manufacturers have slightly modified exclusively for them, signaling the phone that no other store has the product.

    Ms. Saunders used her iPhone to scan the bar code on a case for the Nintendo DSi handheld gaming system at Wal-Mart, but it didn’t show up at other stores. A worker informed her that it is a special Wal-Mart bundle: the case plus earphones and a plug for $19.99.

    But Ms. Saunders was undeterred. She typed the item’s description on TheFind and discovered that, the retailer’s website, offers a better bundle including a car adapter—for $5 less.

    “It’s like, ‘gotcha,'” she said. “I feel so good when that happens.”

  85. jamil says:

    safe as house:
    ” or living on debt to maintin status quo and stay in the US, or live a decent life in HK, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Sydney, etc time to pack up and get out. Also being an expat is a lot harder then you think”

    Yes, but it depends. If you were used to the fact that your parents live in the next town and love to go out with your college buddies every weekend it may be tough. I have done 3 expat deals (current is the longest one) in a foreign continent, and once you get used to it, it is easy. Home is where your own family is. It is easy to get used to a new house or apartment. You don’t need to own a house to be happy (my apologies for the realtors here).

    School for the kids may be an issue, but if they have 1-2 expats deals during the school years, it should not be too tough.

    As it happen to be, I’m now evaluating nice overseas relocation option for my 4th expat deal. Tax-planning is going to be nightmare (but isn’t that why we have people like Comrade?); anyway I’m really looking forward of getting the free flight ticket that one of the resident liberals here promised, in writing. I accept cash only.

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [61] moose

    you have reply.

  87. Juice Box says:

    re: #89 – I invested in a dot bomb back in 1999 with the same price shopping wirless bar scode tech… Only took another decade to perfect it.

  88. Juice Box says:

    re: #90 – “one of the resident liberals here”

    I have never been so insulted in my life!

    I will tell you what if you take Essex with you we will all chip in for first class one way tickets.

  89. JJ says:

    JB My older first cousin who was living in England at the time was on a business trip when he was young to NY and saw bar coding stuff in stores, he asked and found out Symbol Technologies on Long Island owned the technology, he bought the rights to Europe for bar code wanding technology. He sold it years ago as competitors moved in but made a fortune, Owns a mansion on the river Thames. It is all timing baby.

  90. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Nom 86

    Come on, that’s only about 300 square miles of land.

  91. I wouldn’t hire jamil to move to Antarctica to count penguins.

  92. Juice Box says:

    re: # -95 – There is a reason why there is so much land for sale there. If you haven’t been there Wyoming it has high elevation like Colorado over 3,000 feet above sea level is it’s lowest point and long bad winters. The largest employer is the University with about 3k employees and after that is a coal mine company and the National Guard. Unless you want to be frontiersman like Davey Crockett and eat whatever you kill or a ski instructor I would not move there.

  93. A little Xmas cheer from Mike Krieger:

    “Before I get into it, I want people to understand that the use of Pr0zac in the title should not be taken literally. There are many people out there that really do have serious mental issues and medication is useful in helping their condition. As I hope is clear, “Pr0zac” is a metaphor for all of the brainless endeavors that have become such an integral part of many Americans’ lives. Such activities destroy the soul of humankind and play directly into the hands of the ruling elite that wish for you to be dumb, ignorant animals easily manipulated, corralled and sheared. There is a reason that plantation owners used to forbid slaves to learn how to read and write. They understood that an ignorant person is much less likely to resist their enslavement. The same is true in America today, where an unthinking and DEPENDENT person is unlikely to resist.”

  94. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Clot 98

    Did you see this in the comments

    The World’s Largest Army. America’s Hunters?

    ‎”The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay. But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. America will forever be safe from foreign invasion of troops with that kind of home-grown firepower.

    Hunting – it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security!”

  95. JJ says:

    A broker just called me and has some deal on a short sale in Cold Spring Harbor New York, how do I find out what bank has it and what is the outstanding mortgage?

    I mean do I just take these People at their word.

    Owners are the Khan family, with first names that are so long who knows, must be Pakistean, plus the short sale if for double their purchase price of ten years ago. Always a mystery. Sounds like a weird time to do a short sale. Plus how do people lose houses that have doubled in value.

  96. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    you might also get a kick out of this:

    <i."At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." ~Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois (January 27, 1838)

  97. Juice Box says:

    re: #99 – been said before.

    “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto WWII

  98. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [92];

    It’s not the software, its the hardware. You have this pocket computer that everyone is carrying around that can be not just a radiophone, but almost anything a computer can do. Acting like a telephone is just the excuse to get everyone to carry one.

    No one was going to buy Symbol’s device 10 years ago to carry with them on shopping trips. Now they have a device anyway, and it can also be made to do what Symbol wanted it to do last decade, among 6 other things that user does want it to do, which is only possible because it can also do thousands of things that any user might want it to do. All made possible by the hardware.

  99. JJ says:

    interesting to note bar codes repeat multiple times so if ripped they still read on scanner.

    Even more weird the fist email every send was in December, many years ago and contained only two words, Merry Christmas. Weird. Now I get spam cause some jerk was to cheap to buy a card.

  100. Confused In NJ says:

    I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” ~Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois (January 27, 1838)

    Lincoln got it right, America commits suicide.

  101. JJ says:

    Mrs. Lincoln other than the assassination how was the play?

  102. cat (99)-

    Where I’m from, there are just as many hunters…and they own, per capita, way more firearms and way more powerful firearms.

    I’m still of the belief that all we need to overthrow everything is to co-opt one Army division. After that, the rest is easy.

  103. jj (100)-

    You might start at The subscription is pretty cheap.

  104. Tommy Jeff and Honest Abe called it all. Andrew Jackson had it all figured out, too. Pretty impressive.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    101.JJ says:
    December 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    A broker just called me and has some deal on a short sale in Cold Spring Harbor New York, how do I find out what bank has it and what is the outstanding mortgage?
    I mean do I just take these People at their word.
    Owners are the Khan family, with first names that are so long who knows, must be Pakistean, plus the short sale if for double their purchase price of ten years ago. Always a mystery. Sounds like a weird time to do a short sale. Plus how do people lose houses that have doubled in value.
    JJ: check here….

  106. Fast Eddie says:

    Dear Buyers,

    A $400,000, 30 yr. fixed rate loan will now cost you approximately $250 more per month than it would’ve just a few weeks ago. The seller’s are making money, the seller’s agent is making money, your agent is making money…. Take a guess who the sucker is in this deal?

  107. Orion says:

    I’m looking for a free website with tax maps for Monmouth county, any suggestions? Thanks.

  108. Orion says:

    What does one do on a cold, snowy eve?

  109. Bystander says:

    Anyone have info. on MLS 2761864?
    Under contract?

  110. dan says:


    I showed my wife your eunuch joke. She pointed to the screen and said ” I know. This place is why I don’t have a house!”

  111. grim says:

    Anyone have info. on MLS 2761864?
    Under contract?


  112. chicagofinance says:

    Essex says:
    December 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm
    Marketing homes to the folks on this board is a lot like trying to sell a trick to a eunuch.

    …or asking you to not be a useless fukhead……

  113. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Cat. Leave it up to jj to overemphasize 1999-00 and argue that all other years were outliers.

  114. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Essex. You are a severely conflicted dude. Also the pink donut comment is pretty funny.

  115. Mickey Jones says:

    Anyone have information about Millstone Township, NJ 08535 or Clarksburg, NJ 08510??? Schools, taxes, town in general… Thanks for ALL of your feedback in advance!

  116. deadbeat says:

    So we had been working on a short sale for several months. Was originally scheduled to close 12/1 and an extension was granted to 12/21. Finally all the negotiating between buyer, seller and HOA is resolved. Seller’s attorney is waiting for the ok to order estoppel, which was given by seller on 12/13. Same attorney says it’s the only remaining item, title is wrapped. Except that they didn’t order it. Or do the title work. They call the servicer and ask for another extension, allegedly. Investor denies. Again, allegedly. Once deadline passes it’s back to square one. We call servicer directly and account isn’t noted as extension denied. Awaiting callback to confirm. WTF? It’s a fixed fee (paid). Who gains in this scenario? Or is it they don’t lose.

  117. Bystander says:

    Thanks, grim. Place was $125K overpriced, at least. By spring, it will be a year on the market. Sellers continue to be delusional.

  118. Jordans says:

    And to think I was going to move to New Jersey in the summer… Nevermind!

  119. Essex says:

    ChiFi!! I love ya — yeah I know. I am going to extend the olive branch, along with the tip of my middle finger. Anyhow, yeah I hear you on the conflict thing. But who in this modern age is not without some contradictions?

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  122. Matt Andrews says:

    Great info. What a great Real Estate Investment market we are in. If you have a chance, look at the returns we are getting in Tampa, FL. Right now you can buy a fully renovated home for under $50k that rents for $900 per month. I haven’t found better cashflow anywhere in the US. Check out the website for details. I would love to work with you!

  123. Heidi Cruse says:

    Hmm. I am not so sure about that…

  124. Hey, I haven’t checked in here for a while, but I will put you on my bloglist so I don’t forget to check back.

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    I used to love reading your blog, but lately it’s been a little boring. I’ll still read it though =)

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