American economic recovery varys widely by county

A recent analysis of county-level data regarding recovering from the economic crisis shows winners and losers:

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 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.

In other words, the overall figures suggest some counties have done well while others continue to struggle. Just curious: what can be done at the county level in many of these places? Counties are one level of local government but they are more influential in some places that others.

 

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