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Across U.S., Pace of Jobs Recovery Is All Over the Map

USA Today (08/31/12) Paul Davidson; Barbara Hansen

Just under half of the 8.8 million U.S. jobs lost during the recession have been recovered during the last three years, and the pace of recovery is uneven on a state-by-state basis. The recovery is being led by states with a strong energy industry, and the Rust Belt is benefiting from a rebound in the auto and other manufacturing sectors; but states hit hard by the housing crash, like Florida and Georgia, are lagging behind. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics quarterly data since January 2007 by USA Today indicates that only North Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, and Texas, known for their booming energy sectors, along with the District of Columbia, have returned to peak employment, though up to 33% of lost jobs have been recovered in half of the states. The uneven recovery can be attributed to the fact that the technology, biotech, and global finance industries are spread throughout the U.S., rather than concentrated in the major cities, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.