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.
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|Cascadia’s Unemployment Rates, November 2009, by Metropolitan Statistical Area||Rate|
|Idaho Falls, ID||6.4|
|Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA||8.5|
|Boise City-Nampa, ID||10.1|
|Coeur d’Alene, ID||10.1|
|Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA||10.1|
|Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA||10.3|
|Prince George, BC||12.3|
(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.
- Oregon: ouch! British Columbian cities in general are suffering far less than Oregon metros, with Washington sandwiched between. (The situation hasn’t changed since Eric blogged this, about Google’s easy-to-use tool for charting unemployment rates. )
- 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.)