It's based on four factors: "employment change from peak; unemployment rate change from one year ago; gross metropolitan product change from peak; and housing price index change from one year ago."
This one shows employment change. It explains itself:
And this one just shows straight-up unemployment:
Says the accompanying report:
Nationwide, the recession is over—at least in the view of most economists in light of third quarter 2009 indicators. They revealed a real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at a 2.8 percent annual rate, after four consecutive quarters of contraction. Most interpreted that rate of output growth, along with other signals such as increasing housing prices, as indication that the economic recovery is underway.I'll be honest: this article seemed kind of boring so I didn't really read it. I assume it said what we all know - the economy blows and there aren't enough jobs. But it did helpfully put a few points in bold, so we can skip right to those:
Yet the recovery seems fragile. The output increase may have resulted largely from the replenishment of manufacturing inventories and from temporary federal policies: the “cash-for-clunkers” program (already over), the first-time homebuyer tax credit (now extended through April 2010), and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s economic stimulus. As the effects of these policies recede, the recovery could slow or give way to yet another recession or a prolonged period of economic stagnation.
Real recovery in the labor market, moreover, remains elusive. Although output grew between July and September of 2009, the total number of U.S. jobs continued to decline. Payroll employment dropped by about 600,000 during the third quarter (about half the decline of the previous quarter), and the unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent by September. While the most recent national-level report showed a significant slowing of job losses in November, and a slight downtick in unemployment, the national economy still seems a long way from posting the sustained job gains that would meaningfully lower unemployment and boost incomes.
This report is from December. The next update will come out in March, and it will probably show improvement, though according to Paul Krugman, there's a strong danger of the economy taking another brody later in 2010. We'll see. In the meantime, So long, Florida, and thanks for all the fish!
- Metro areas continued to register highly disparate economic performance even as the nation showed early signs of recovery.
- Six metro areas—Albuquerque, Austin, McAllen, San Antonio, Virginia Beach, and Washington, DC—had regained their pre-recession peak level of output by the third quarter.
- Recovery seemed to be underway in most metro areas, but job growth remained spotty.
- The first-time homebuyer tax credit appeared to boost economic growth in nearly all metro areas.
- The “cash-for-clunkers” program boosted economic growth in most metro areas, and probably accounted for the improved rankings of auto production-specialized metro areas.[By the way, it is the official economic analysis of The Map Scroll that the government's efforts to continue to encourage home and car buying is propping up a failed economic model and merely delaying the inevitable transition to a non car-and-sprawl based economy while squandering tax dollars in the process. Our qualifications for making this analysis are various and broad.]
- The rate of metropolitan job losses in construction, manufacturing, and administrative services slowed considerably in the third quarter.
- Home prices stabilized or grew in an increasing number of metro areas, but inventories of real estate-owned properties (REOs) continued to mount overall.