Rate of job recovery depends on region

John Dimsdale Apr 17, 2009
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Rate of job recovery depends on region

John Dimsdale Apr 17, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: Today the Labor Department issues state-by-state unemployment figures for March. They’re not likely to be pretty given what we heard yesterday. The number of Americans receiving jobless benefits surpassed 6 million for the first time ever. And what kind of recovery depends on the region and reason for the job losses. From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: In February, seven states reported double-digit unemployment rates, and it’s likely there were more of those in March. States with the highest out-of-work populations fall into two categories: those hit by manufacturing declines in the East and Midwest and those that have suffered from a dramatic drop in home prices.

Lawrence Katz: Places that had the biggest housing booms have now had the biggest housing busts.

Harvard labor economist Lawrence Katz says those states are likely to recover the quickest.

Katz: Areas that were fundamentally long-run growing areas, like California, Nevada and Florida, that were hit by housing speculation, probably have better long-run prospects.

Whereas a manufacturing turnaround, he says, will require structural changes in the economy.

Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics, expects more affordable home prices in southern and western states create new construction jobs.

Christopher Thornberg: What that means is even though its one of the most vicious cycles, when we come out of this, I expect growth to be very good.

Today’s regional unemployment report, however, will show an economy still deep in the down part of that cycle.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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