Unemployment Finally Improves In Hard Hit States

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Casino Entrance

Among the best measures of how strong the recovery of the U.S. economy has become is the improvement in the jobs rate in the states hit hardest by the recession. The upward turn was particularly notable in December, with no evidence that concern about the 2013 economy had badly hurt business sentiment in these troubled states.

Although its real estate sector continues to be badly wounded based on home prices, sales, and foreclosures. Nevada's unemployment rate dropped to 10.2% in December compared to 13% in the same month in 2011. Real estate must have improve, if only very modestly, and the gambling business staged a modest recovery, based on financial number from public companies with large operation in Las Vegas.

Mississippi, which remains one of the most poverty plagued states, had an improvement from 10.4% to 8.6%. Its agriculture base has ticked up as demand for farm products has freshened.

Improvements in unemployment Illinois and Ohio show that the industrial base has indeed found its legs. The jobless rate in Ohio dropped from 7.9% to 6.7%–well below the national average. In Illinois, the improvement from December to December was from 9.7% to 8.7%. Michigan, which is typically the hardest hit state in the Midwest in a recession because of the car industry, had an unemployment rate of 8.9%–stunningly in contrast to a level of 0ver 14% two years ago.

The best signal in state jobs is from California, although unemployment is still high. California's unemployment rate in December was at 9.8%, but that was down from 11.2% a year ago. California has 38 million people, and the spread of its jobs base by sector as large as any other in the U.S.

If the pace recovery is measured by how the worst parts of the economy have done, as paced by jobs, the pick-up has accelerated.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Jobs Tagged: featured