Posting in Cities
The US bi-coastal economy flips -- the coasts now suffer while parts of the prairie thrive.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics just released it's September unemployment figures, and while the overall rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, it's nothing to crow about. The rate went down simply because the number of workforce participants -- which includes those unemployed actively looking for work -- also went down (from 155 million in July to 154.6 million in August).
However, the pain isn't being felt everywhere. In fact, in one state -- North Dakota -- the rate has been hovering around a full-employment level of 3%. That's because North Dakota is in the midst of an oil boom of historic proportions. "Business owners everywhere are desperately searching for workers of all skill levels, and even an unskilled restaurant server can make upwards of $25 an hour working full-time and even overtime," states a recent press release issued by an industry-sponsored website. More than a half a million barrels of oil a day are being pulled from the Bakken formation, a geologic rock formation that runs through the state.
North Dakota cities rank on top of the BLS' latest cities list in terms of full employment, but are joined by other Midwest and prairie-state cities as well. Many of these areas avoided the frenzied overbuilding of the real-estate bubble, and have been carefully and steadily moving from a dependence on agriculture and heavy industry to information, service and health-care-based economies.
Below are the top 10 cities for employment in the US. What really gets interesting is when you look at the bottom 10 -- the cities with the highest unemployment. Most of these are cities in California -- casualties of the overbuilt real-estate bust. A city in New Jersey also makes the list.
For decades, the US was a "bi-coastal economy" -- opportunities and growth were seen as happening on the East and West coasts, while the plains and Midwestern states in between were being left in the dust, with drying up rural economies and rustbelt industries. There was a tremendous talent and brain drain in recent decades -- young people couldn't get away from places such as North Dakota fast enough. It seems that times have changed for many regions.
The entire list of 372 metro areas is available from the BLS. Here are the top 10 and 10 worse off:
Top 10 Metro Areas with Lowest Unemployment Unemployment rate
- Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 2.5%
- Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.3%
- Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.8%
- Sioux Falls, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.0%
- Iowa City, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.2%
- Midland, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.2%
- Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.3%
- Rapid City, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.3%
- Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.5%
- Billings, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.6%
Top 10 Metro Areas with Highest Unemployment Unemployment rate
- Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 31.2%
- El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 29.9%
- Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 17.5%
- Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 17.3%
- Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 15.8%
- Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 15.7%
- Stockton, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 15.1%
- Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 14.7%
- Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 14.5%
- Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 14.3%
Sep 8, 2012
There's no doubt the job market is great and unemployment is low, but there are downsides to the boom. For many residents, their lifestyles is being turned upside down, and they're not benefitting from the money or jobs. Cost of living is going through the roof too. http://www.bakkendispatch.com/witness-witness-ghost-town-to-boom-town
During the entire Great Recession NH has been doing far better than most of the nation without the benefit of an expansion of the oil or gas industries. NH has done it by providing a secure place for businesses at a time when other New England states have been creating hostile environments for business. NH unemployment peaked at 6.7% in 2009. The recent rise in unemployment is being attributed to a growing state population driven by worker flight from neighboring states. With a low corporate income tax, no personal income tax and stable property taxes, NH was the safe haven that dozens of companies ran to when Massachusetts, Vermont, NY and Connecticut went tax happy in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to balance bloated city and state budgets. Light manufacturing and financial services have been some of the largest employee gains for the state. http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/new-hampshire/
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