Thursday, January 19, 2012

Labor Market Recovery, City by City

Here’s an interesting graphic showing when cities are expected to recover from the 2007-9 recession.

The legend didn’t come through in the graphic: the 4 degrees of shading correspond to 2010-11, 2012, 2013-5, and 2016 or later (the lightest).

So, Texas is clearly doing very well, and really so are all the Plains states. Also, while the contraction hit hard along a diagonal from Wisconsin to Florida, there also seems to be some reasonable recovery in that region.

I also thought this was interesting because it included St. George as a major city worth plotting. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that other than on the weather map in USA Today.

Having said that, one problem with this map is that it doesn’t seem to make any allowances for whether the job market was lousy in a location before the recession started. I mean, it’s grand that, say, Syracuse has already recovered, but how far could they have fallen in the first place*? So, to say that St. George won’t recover until 2016 is also saying that it won’t recover to the amazingly, smokin’ hot, labor market that it had in 2006-7. Well … is it reasonable to expect it to? Especially if other places aren’t like that?

This came from the piece entitled ”Few Cities Have Regained Jobs They Lost, Report Finds” in the January 18 issue of The New York Times.

* I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo. I’m not an expert on Syracuse, but I can tell you that it hasn’t had a hoppin’ job market in my lifetime.

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