Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is Your State Winning or Losing?

     If you're looking for work -- or if your kids are starting a career or casting around for a new job -- you might be interested in how the economy is doing in your area.  These two maps come courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The first map, containing the most recent data, shows how the economy was doing, state by state, in Nov. 2010.

     It's kind of amazing that the greenest states -- the ones showing the most growth -- were in the Northeast. Plus, Michigan. Michigan! Judging from reports in the media, you'd think Michigan was about to close up shop and go out of business. But apparently (perhaps thanks to auto company bailouts) things are going okay in the Wolverine state.

     But that was November. What about the future? The map below, released last week, shows what financial experts are expecting for the next six months.

     In general, it looks like business is improving. Two months ago, 13 states were in the red. Now the negatives are a little better. For the spring of 2011, only 11 states are expected to go downhill. On the winning side of the ledger, in Nov. 2010, just 4 states were expanding at a rate over 1.5 percent. Now, in the first half of 2011, experts forecast that 12 states -- ranging from Maine to Alaska -- will grow their economies at 1.5 percent or better.

     Of course, experts can be wrong. But if you live in the Northeast or the Midwest, things seem to be picking up. If you live in Nevada or Idaho . . . well, maybe you'd be better off heading south and looking for a job in Phoenix or Tucson.

     The current trend suggests a favorable wind for traditional retirees -- northerners who want to kick back and enjoy a warmer clime. Yankees seem to be benefiting from a slightly better economy. Maybe they can sell their house at a decent price, then take advantage of weaker markets in Florida, Georgia or North Carolina.



Nance said...

My state of residence (I'm always careful to refer to SC as the place where I reside, rather than as "my state") seems to be picking up steam, but I'm danged if I know how or why.

I'm primarily encouraged that the country as a whole seems to be climbing out of recession's black hole. And yet, I distrust these analyses. Until the unemployment figures begin to change, no growth is acknowledged by most of us. said...

I checked this out and the maps show "leading indicators" a forecast of how the FR thought states would fare over the next six months. I hope they are right and that everything really is looking up.

Pennsylvania has had troubles for so long it is hard to imagine it has an unemployment rate lower than the U.S. average, but it does, apparently. FR says the jobless claims dropped in November while building permits rose. These are hopeful signs of a potential rebound. I am in VA, but keep track of PA and NJ as well as MD and NJ as "bellweather" states for our area (Mid-Atlantic). Thanks for the tip and information.