Fundamentals like employment and affordability are key to sustained housing recoveries. Among the markets with the strongest improvements in employment over the 24-month period ending in June are Bismarck and Fargo, both of which have benefited from the oil boom in North Dakota. However, two of the top-five markets were in Texas which was only modestly impacted by the housing bust and subsequent financial crisis. The markets with weak employment growth are more idiosyncratic and reflect local trends. For additional information on employment trends in a particular market including industry trends, see the Local Market Reports for the 2nd quarter of 2013.