If there is a turnaround in Reno, it's been hard to spot. We're still reeling from recession… plenty of vacant store fronts, high unemployment and a glut of foreclosed homes remain. But there are signs things are improving: Home foreclosures have dropped. Home sales are beginning to rebound. And there's even good news to be found in unemployment…while still far too high, it has fallen from a year ago. We boosted our spending in august, even though income barely moved.
The bad news? Much of that consumer spending increase went to pay higher food prices, higher gas prices…and higher clothing prices. Because of that expense, Sara Fierro is holding a consignment sale to help parents like her save. She's noticed the ballooning cost of this often-overlooked family expenditure. Her take on clothing prices? "Ugh. I think over the past 5, 7 years. They've just continued little by little. You don't notice it a lot at first, but now, I mean they are just through the roof."
Wendy Mazet is a volunteer at the sale. She's employed, but knows too many Nevadans who are struggling. "I've watched good friends go through over a year of unemployment...looking for jobs, putting in apps, never hearing back."
Nevada had the 2nd-highest percentage of construction job losses in the nation in August. The high unemployment and weak wage growth have kept Nevadans from spending more freely, especially parents. As Wendy told us, "Money's still tight. Everybody's looking for hand me downs or very low priced items."
Reno did not get double-digit unemployment overnight. Recovery will be slow, especially with companies taking a wait-and-see attitude until the election's over, to see where the economy, and health care goes. Consignment sale volunteer Jamie Runde told us, "I've had people say to me, we better get all our health needs done now, because we don't know what's going to happen in 2013."
Still, after 5 years of recession, there are some signs lately that a mild rebound is in play…some light at the end of the tunnel. If the government or events don't lengthen that tunnel, we might have a very good…2013.
-written by John Potter
To help you save in these tight times, this weekend's "Just Between Friends" consignment sale starts Friday at Reno's Livestock Events Center. You can connect online for all the details, by clicking the link below:
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