What economic slowdown? Some spots still boom
Some states and many cities expect growth because they have the right industries or resources at the right time.
Don't look for an economic downturn in North Dakota: In fact, the state is holding job fairs in other states to try to fill 13,000 open jobs.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Even if builders are hanging up their hammers in a lot of cities, they are still building subdivisions in Mobile, Ala., which is expecting an onslaught of thousands of new workers at a new steel mill.
Amid concern that the US economy is slipping and sliding into a recession, some states and many cities expect to continue to grow. In some cases, the growth is the result of having the right industries or resources at the right time. In other cases, it is the result of savvy and diversified economic development that appears to be shrugging off the recession blues. In virtually all cases, areas of growth appear to have avoided the huge run-up in housing prices and subsequent collapse.
According to a January report by Moody's Economy.com, 30 states still showed signs of economic expansion, 15 were at risk of sliding into recession, and five had already entered a downturn. The five states already in recession – Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada – represent about 25 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP), Mr. Zandi says. The 15 states at risk of recession represent another 25 percent of the GDP.
A softening economy fits into the portrait painted by the Federal Reserve Board's Beige Book, which takes a more anecdotal approach to business activity. On March 5, the Beige Book, which looks at the Fed's 12 districts, found economic growth had slowed since the beginning of 2008. "Two-thirds of the Districts cited softening or weakening in the pace of business activity, while the others referred to subdued, slow, or modest growth," stated the report.
But North Dakota, a farm state, has also worked hard to diversify its economic base, notes Gov. John Hoeven. "That's been our No. 1 focus," says Governor Hoeven in a phone interview.