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Kai Ryssdal: Economists and analysts and the rest of us, too, are hoping tomorrow morning will be the day the labor market gets itself back in gear. The March unemployment figures come out at 8:30 eastern time. But you know, sometimes national numbers don’t paint the whole picture. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia shows that states are recovering at greatly different speeds out of this recession.
From New York, Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson reports.
JEREMY HOBSON: The Philly Fed looks at all 50 states every month. In the latest survey, it found about half the state economies are growing. Mostly on the west coast and in the northeast. Interestingly, the one growing the fastest is the one that sunk the lowest — Michigan.
PAUL MENCHIK: When the country catches a cold, Michigan gets pneumonia, and tends to bounce back a little more quickly than the national average for the same kinds of reasons.
That’s economist Paul Menchik at Michigan State University. He says the Great Lake State is benefiting from government help for the auto industry and from its unique economy.
MENCHIK: Well manufacturing is more volatile, and that’s coming back a little bit more quickly than maybe some other economies based less on manufacturing.
Like the ones in the mountain west, many of them are now feeling a little bit of economic shrinkage. The worst of that is going on in West Virginia and Maryland.
Richard Clinch is an economist at the University of Baltimore. He says most of the states that are growing the slowest now didn’t fall as far during the recession.
RICHARD CLINCH: There has not been a significant change in Maryland’s core economy, but there’s a finite amount of time you can continue to outperform the nation, so the slow national economy is just coming home to roost in Maryland.
Clinch says Maryland didn’t even experience the 2001 recession. That wasn’t the case this time. According to the Philly Fed, this was the first recession in decades experienced by all 50 states. But it seems recovery will be a state-by-state issue.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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