Easy to Find Work in Jacksonville

19 08 2009

It’s easier to find a job in Jacksonville than any other city in the U.S. except for Washington, D.C., according to jobs search engine Indeed.com.

The largest 50 cities in the U.S. were ranked by comparing the number of unemployed to the number of job postings.

Personally, I think it’s great news for the city. Indeed.com went on to say that Jacksonville had three job postings per unemployed person. D.C. had six job postings for every one unemployed person in June. Baltimore is No. 3, where there is one posting per unemployed person.

Among the cities where it’s hardest to find open jobs were Los Angeles and Riverside, Calif., Miami and Detroit, where there are 18 unemployed people for every one job posting.

Home Builder Confidence Up in August

19 08 2009

A confidence index among home builders inched up in August to its highest level in a year.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reached 18 this month, which was its highest since June 2008, said a news release.

“Home builder expectations have been buoyed by the success of the first-time home buyer tax credit and its anticipated boost to buying activity leading up to the Nov. 30 expiration date,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla.

“The question is what happens after that – whether there will be enough momentum to keep us moving toward a recovery, particularly in light of significant headwinds such as the severe credit crunch for housing production loans and inappropriate appraisal practices that are scuttling a quarter of all new-home sales.”

Sales expectations for the next six months saw the biggest gain in the index, followed by traffic of prospective buyers – four-point and three-point increases, respectively. Current sales conditions in the index remained unchanged.

All regions of the country saw a gain in the confidence index except for the South, which had a one-point decline.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Shareholders OK Pulte-Centex Merger

19 08 2009

Shareholders of both Pulte Homes Inc. and Centex Corp. approved the merger of the two companies on 8/18/09 for a total value of $3.1 billion.

Under terms of the merger agreement, Pulte Homes will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Centex in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $1.3 billiion, plus a net debt of $1.8 billion.

Centex shareholders receive 0.975 shares of Pulte Homes stock in exchange for each Centex share they own. Based on the exchange rate, Pulte shareholders own about 68 percent of the combined company and Centex shareholders own about 32 percent.

The combined company will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PHM.”

It will operate more than 900 communities across 29 states and the District of Columbia under the brands Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb.

Effective with the completion of the merger, Timothy Eller, previously Centex’s chairman and CEO, joins the company’s board of directors as vice chairman and will serve as a consultant to the company for two years.

Pulte and Centex currently build throughout Florida, but Centex pulled out of the North Florida market in 2008. Pulte is selling homes in eight communities in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, the majority of those in Bartram Park.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

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