2015 January

An Asymmetrical Recovery? /articles


“…smaller MSAs are likely to provide better balance between wages and quality of life over the longer term.”

This report really speaks to certain aspects of the future, such as the collapse wave…in progress

Also, I think the reason smaller MSAs have better quality of life overall…is due to the absence of so much boom and bust, high growth, and a steadier–more mature, or steady business climate provides more predictability for well-being, people staying who are long-term focused, not either the boom and busters or the transients…

When I spent most of my time in Mitchell, (1800), the people who were there were there for the long-term, they never considered moving, even though most of their kids didn’t come back right away, over time, children replaced dying parents in commodity businesses, but the well-being was high because of community, long-term thinking and loyalty to the future of the place…

This doesn’t happen in large MSAs, except in communities that maintain over time…

This is a report by the Association of Counties on the economic state of the 3,069 counties in the U.S.

Stats reveal the imbalances in the economic recovery.  Here are the highlights

  • 95% of the county economies have not recovered on unemployment rates by 2014
  • 63% of the county economies did experience faster job growth than in 2013. This trend was in counties with populations between 50,000 and 500,000
  • Economic output (GDP) expanded in slightly more than 50% of the counties. The other half experienced contraction.
  • 81% of the counties experienced home price increases but at slower rates.
  • 2% of the counties have fully recovered to pre-recession levels. Most of them have booming energy and agriculture sectors (in states such as Alaska, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota or Texas)
  • Large county economies continued to generate a disproportionate share of the new jobs in 2014, 57 percent relative to their 49 percent share of total county employment.
  • Only 38 percent of the net jobs created in the 124 large county economies were in industries paying above the 2013 average wage in their residing county.
  • In the small county economies — with less than 50,000 people — 45 percent of the jobs created were in industries paying above the county average, most often in industries such as oil, gas and mining, manufacturing and construction.
  • 50% of the county economies had declining adjusted wages in 2013. Small county economies, in counties with less than 50,000 people, fared better than the rest, with average county wage growing in 53 percent of them between 2012 and 2013.

The full report is here with graphics.

The recovery is asymmetrical for sure and being in a big county (city) is where a citizen has a higher likelihood to get a job but it will be lower paying than in the small counties.