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Monday, May 05, 2008

Recession . . . what recession?

Routt County, Colorado, with Steamboat Springs, is enjoying a boom with 2.7 per cent unemployment. No recession here, of course!

Well, maybe in the residential sector in parts of South Carolina, the Grapes of Wrath image evoked in my previous blog posting "How severe is the recession?" rings true. But readers are telling me that the story is not the same everywhere. In fact, one person from Routt County, Colorado, commented:

In my neck of the woods (Routt County, CO), the biggest problem is a booming economy and a tight labor market with unemployment running at 2.7%: Colorado unemployment data. Most would love to have that problem.

But around here, folks will whine about most anything. We have more home/residential construction going on around here than you can shake a stick at (so much so that there is serious political pressure to slow it down). Some think it won’t last in our little corner of the world. I disagree. From my perspective, the biggest question is whether our local politics will allow it to continue. For decades, political pressures have slowed our growth and driven the price of housing through the roof.

Hmm, and over at Contractortalk.com someone has posted this poll question: "You think we are in a construction recession in California?" Only four votes so far, two say "yes" and two say "no". Take your pick!

This information suggests a little mobility will go a long way if you are in one of the depressed areas. I realize of course moving isn't easy to do -- family, schools, and lifestyle all factor into the picture. And of course it is rather hard to sell your home in a depressed area to move and buy one in a booming location! Certainly, the economic picture isn't universal, and it certainly isn't universally bleak.

4 comments:

SBVOR said...

Mark,

It is increasingly unlikely that we are currently in a recession:
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The Recession of 2008 That Wasn’t?
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Unknown said...

Interesting perspective.

I think this story depends on where you are. The grader contractor (serving the residential construction market) in South Carolina will say there is a recession -- the contractor in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, will say things are booming. The majority in this unscientific poll http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=38991 are voting 'yes' to recession in California.
But these localized stats do not of course tell the national or international story.

SBVOR said...

Mark,

Yes, although it is increasingly unlikely that the nation is currently in a recession, certain states could be in a recession. Undoubtedly, certain sectors of the economy (like residential housing) are struggling in certain locations.

Michigan, at 7.9%, has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

But, that comes as no surprise.

Compare this map to this map. When voters prefer Left Wing politicians, things tend to go badly. The correlation is not exact. But, it is quite significant.

There could be a recession in Michigan. Or, maybe Michigan is still living in the days of Jimmy Carter and the economic remnants of what Jimmy Carter left Ronald Reagan to clean up. Johnson, Nixon and Jimmy left the entire nation in a condition where 7.9% unemployment constituted an economic expansion. Maybe Michigan is suffering under equally incompetent political “leadership”. Maybe 7.9% unemployment in Michigan is an economic expansion for them.

Unknown said...

When you overlay politics on the recessionary causes, you risk reading meanings and assumptions about cause and effect which may be unfair or short-sighted. As an example, North Carolina could hardly be seen as the hotbed of liberalism and 'workers rights' but its legislature had the foresight to pass laws tthat allowed it to avoid the worst abuses of he rip-off predatory sub-prime mortgage lenders. When so-called conservatives spend the nation's money like a drunken sailor on war and tax reductions simultaneously, they are asking for $200 per barrel oil. (I'm not saying the war nor the tax reductions are bad in themselves, but the combination is a whopper!)
I agree that 'lefty' approaches usually cause problems, but the political right is not immune from dumb economics, either.