NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The government might be shut down, but the economy seems to be picking up plenty of steam. One reliable benchmark is the rate of foreclosures, which shows just how much homeowners are struggling in the pocketbook. These days, the foreclosure story is a happier one than at any point since the Great Recession started in late 2007. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were down by 27% in September on a year-to-year basis, and it's the 36th consecutive month foreclosures were down on an annual basis.
doom these homeowners hanging on by a thread," he says. One sure-fire sign that a state or regional economy is experiencing lower foreclosure rates is the local jobs market. If hiring is up, foreclosures are down, and vice-versa. That could spell trouble for areas affected by the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, which affects mainly government workers, and small businesses in towns with high levels of federal government employees.