Half of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession

The Wall Street Journal – by Ben Leubsdorf

About half of the nation’s 3,069 county economies are still short of their prerecession economic output, reflecting the uneven economic recovery, according to a new report from the National Association of Counties.

The overall U.S. economy had reached its prerecession level of gross domestic product three years agoCommerce Department figures show.  

National statistics “mask the reality on the ground,” where some county economies were in recession long before December 2007 and others never experienced one at all, said Emilia Istrate, the association’s director of research and one of the authors of the report. “That’s where Americans feel the economy. They feel it locally.”

The report, released Monday, examined four economic indicators: GDP, total number of jobs, unemployment rates and home prices. It found wide variations.

Almost 400 counties saw no decline in GDP from their prerecession levels. Large counties were hit hard by the recession, but have recovered relatively strongly.

The roughly 800 counties boasting prerecession employment levels by 2013 are mostly in the Midwest and South. And just 54 had achieved their prerecession level of unemployment last year, the report said.

“This shows us that although the U.S. economy as a whole is on the right track, we have a fragile recovery, and at the same time it’s an uneven recovery,” Ms. Istrate said.

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Source: National Association of Counties


4 thoughts on “Half of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession

  1. More BS from the Wall Street Journal, once again trying to convince Americans that there can be some kind of “recovery” from this economic black hole we’ve been thrown into.

  2. Just looking a some of the counties in the Big Bend area: Jeff Davis and Brewster have “recovered” GDP because neither one produces enough to have GDP (both are mostly ranching/rural remote counties with minimal commerce, Big Bend Park, and are havens for scientific research, geology, animal husbandry, etc.) in the first place, so no loss there, and Presidio next door to Brewster Co. was “never in recession” because (outside of Marfa, which is now an artsy-fartsy haven in the northern end of the county) 95% of the population are Mexican-Americans (or just plain Mexicans) on welfare, and folks on welfare are too damned dependent on govt. to be in “recession”…

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