Unemployment steady, tourism and home sales firming

San Francisco’s unemployment rate is sitting steady at just below 10 percent, but tourist data and other economic indicators tracked by The City are beginning to improve.

Unemployment rose from 9.8 percent in September to 9.9 percent in October, according to a monthly economic barometer report published Monday by the San Francisco Office of the Controller.

There were 44,100 San Francisco residents unemployed in October – up from 17,800 a year earlier, according to the report.

More guests are visiting San Francisco hotels and they are paying higher room rates, according to the report.

“Following several months of good news on air traffic, October average daily hotel rates have risen to $198 a night, a 14 percent jump over September's figure,” the office wrote in an email accompanying the report.

“Occupancy was a very high 87.5 percent, which was considerably higher than the same figure last October, at the start of the recession. In fact, revenue per available room-night for San Francisco hotels in October was only 0.4 percent lower than it had been in October 2008. This is the first clear sign of industry recovery that has appeared since the recession started.”Meanwhile, the number of home sales in October rose to 553, which is 34 percent higher than one year earlier.

Home prices are also firming up, with The City detecting a 6.3 percent one-month rise in median home prices to $690,000.

Average asking rent rose less than one percent between September and October to $1,900.

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