Looking at unemployment trends today, I found brand new numbers on unemployment by city as of November. As usual, British Columbia’s statistics agency was quicker to release its numbers.

So now we can get a picture of how the Great Recession is shaking out, one year after it was acknowledged as underway—and eleven months after federal stimulus spending was approved in Washington, DC.

Unemployment is a key Cascadia Scorecard economy indicator, because opportunities for meaningful, living-wage work are essential to shared, sustainable prosperity.

The numbers are after the jump, followed by some observations.

  • Cascadia’s Unemployment Rates, November 2009, by Metropolitan Statistical Area Rate
    Kelowna, BC 5.6
    Missoula, MT 6.1
    Idaho Falls, ID 6.4
    Kamloops, BC 6.7
    Victoria, BC 7.1
    Vancouver, BC 7.2
    Corvallis, OR 7.3
    Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA 7.3
    Abbotsford, BC 7.4
    Olympia, WA 7.4
    Bremerton-Silverdale, WA 7.5
    Pocatello, ID 7.9
    Bellingham, WA 8.1
    Nanaimo, BC 8.3
    Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA 8.5
    Spokane, WA 8.7
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 8.8
    United States 9.4
    Yakima, WA 9.5
    Boise City-Nampa, ID 10.1
    Coeur d’Alene, ID 10.1
    Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA 10.1
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA 10.3
    Salem, OR 10.7
    Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 10.8
    Eugene-Springfield, OR 11.0
    Medford, OR 11.5
    Prince George, BC 12.3
    Longview, WA 12.9
    Bend, OR 14.0

    (Data are not seasonally adjusted.)

    I have no grand insights to impart today, but here are some notes:

    • Go east, young man? The lowest unemployment is in eastern parts of the Northwest, such as Missoula, Montana, and Kelowna, British Columbia.
    • Bend down. The central Oregon outdoors Mecca—long driven by a real-estate boom—now boasts the highest unemployment rate of any metro area in the Pacific Northwest.
    • Learn, govern or saw? University towns and capital cities, such as Corvallis, Bellingham, Olympia, and Victoria, are weathering the storm better than wood-products manufacturing cities such as Prince George, BC, and Longview, Washington.
    • Big gap. Bend’s unemployment rate is more than twice as high as Missoula’s. Economic theory says that workers will relocate from Bend to Missoula, until the rates reach a new equilibrium. But dual-earner households, the mortgage crisis, and perhaps a growing commitment to place are making us less mobile than in times past, according to this AP article. (Update, 1/11/10: Here are two newe links for this last point, from Bloomberg and the New York Times.)