How And When Will We Recover Lost Jobs

Here is an interesting chart from the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog. It was done by IHS Global Insight and contains their prediction about when various states will return to pre-recession job levels.

te Return to prerecession job level
Alabama 2013
Alaska 2011
Arizona 2014
Arkansas 2012
California 2013
Colorado 2012
Connecticut after 2015
Delaware 2013
District of Col 2010
Florida 2014
Georgia 2013
Hawaii 2012
Idaho 2012
Illinois 2015
Indiana after 2015
Iowa 2013
Kansas 2012
Kentucky 2013
Louisiana 2012
Maine 2014
Maryland 2012
Massachusetts 2013
Michigan after 2015
Minnesota 2013
Mississippi 2013
Missouri 2012
Montana 2011
Nebraska 2012
Nevada 2013
New Hampshire 2012
New Jersey 2013
New Mexico 2011
New York 2012
North Carolina 2013
North Dakota 2011
Ohio after 2015
Oklahoma 2012
Oregon 2014
Pennsylvania 2012
Rhode Island after 2015
South Carolina 2012
South Dakota 2012
Tennessee 2013
Texas 2011
Utah 2011
Vermont 2015
Virginia 2011
Washington 2012
West Virginia 2014
Wisconsin 2014
Wyoming 2014

Source: IHS Global Insight

A lot of it is fairly intuitive, states that were hit the hardest by the recession and housing slump will take the longest to recover. I’m puzzled, though, as to why they think New York will return to prosperity so soon. Maybe they think that finance is not going to suffer the shrinkage as a percentage of overall economic activity that others project.

The chart does project what I subscribe to and that’s a very uneven recovery regionally. One of the more interesting things to watch is how much different areas recover through the revival of the economic base they had going into the recession versus building new economic engines.

For instance, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the upper Midwest will have to rebuild its employment base with some new industries given the body blow it took with the downsizing of GM and Chrysler. But will places like Florida and Arizona be able to fall back on real estate as major economic drivers or will that be a shadow of itself.

A couple things that might have a lot of influence on how all this develops are government and mobility. I expect the federal government to be much more proactive in terms of industry development and worker retraining. Where those dollars flow will be critical in determining which regions recover more quickly and how they do manage to do so.

Whether Americans continue to pull up stakes and move for weather, jobs or a new start is also going to have a lot to say about what regions prosper. There’s a plethora of factors that could mitigate¬†against migration including under water mortgages and the grass just not being not that much greener across the country. I also have the sense that the millennials aren’t all that amenable to getting too far away from their families so we may see an America that’s much less willing to relocate.

So, do we go back to the way we were or are we going to have to adapt to some new paradigms?

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