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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

No Parity of Pain

In a post yesterday, I noted in passing that one recent analysis suggested that Florida has been the state hit hardest by the recession. That was based on a chart from the Wall Street Journal showing that the state was in the bottom five in terms of changes in GDP, jobs and housing prices during 2008.
But that’s just one measurement, obviously, and the impact of hard times also can various enormously within a single state. So I thought it was worth mentioning today that a look (also from the WSJ) at current (as of April, at least) unemployment rates for the nation’s metro areas shows some startling variations and concentrations.
On the latter front, thirteen MSAs have unemployment rates over 15%. Nine are in California, mostly in central CA. On the other end of the spectrum, of six MSAs located entirely within Iowa, five have unemployment rates under 5%. Getting back to Florida, of its twenty MSAs, exactly half have unemployment rates over 10%, and half don’t.
The chart’s worth staring at for a while as background for political developments. We are definitely in a national recession. But at least in terms of unemployment, the pain has not been spread equally.

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