It is finally January 2021. We’ve put 2020 behind us and are ready to look ahead to improving economic conditions in 2021. With the inauguration of President-elect Biden, expect some much-needed political stability. The Federal stimulus package passed by Congress in December will provide important assistance to individuals, families, and small businesses still suffering from the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic downturn. Expect steady economic progress and a strong housing market in the first part of 2021.
Here are some key numbers to watch for January 2021:
8,100 is the number of jobs added to the Virginia economy between October and November 2020. This is the 7th consecutive month of job gains in the Commonwealth. More than half of the jobs lost last spring have been gained back. The Richmond region led job growth with about 6,000 jobs added between October and November 2020.
19,530 is the number of Virginians who applied for initial unemployment benefits during the week ending January 2nd. New claims for unemployment had been falling for months before an uptick in December. With an extension of Federal unemployment benefits, it is likely we will continue to see this number rise in early 2021.
4.9% is the November 2020 unemployment rate in Virginia. The state’s unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national rate and has improved relatively quickly.
92.2 is the measure of consumers’ confidence in future economic conditions in December, as reported by the Conference Board. A level below 100 indicates that consumers are feeling pessimistic about future economic conditions. However, it is likely that this metric will improve in the coming months. The measure of confidence in present economic conditions was 101.1 in December.
2.65% is the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate for the week ending January 7th, according to Freddie Mac. This reflects another record low and caps off 23 consecutive weeks of mortgage rates below 3%.
For more information on the economic recovery in Virginia, check out the Virginia REALTORS® Monthly Economic Snapshot. Take a look at our economic and housing market forecast for 2021. And be sure to visit our Research & Statistics pages for more data.