The education and health services sector is the largest employer in the metro area these days. Manufacturing, especially that related to the auto industry, is still strong but not what it once was. Another challenge is the area’s slow population growth.
Working against Arkansas metro area are income inequality, no airport and Americans’ changing vacation plans.
This small MSA scores well on educational attainment, cost of living, employment in health care services and in other categories. Still, output and job growth are relatively slow.
Government employment has been a main driver of Jefferson City’s economy, more so than in many other state capitals. Now that public sectors everywhere are tightening their belts, Jefferson City—like many other communities—will look more to the private sector to maintain growth.
Once a slow-growing agricultural area, the Jonesboro MSA is changing so fast that some parts are hardly recognizable from what they were just two or three years ago. Employment is up 13 percent from before the recession. Housing prices were stable even when the rest of the country was seeing a crash. Manufacturing is growing.
In the District, about 40 percent of 25-year-olds were back living with their parents in 2013. That’s higher than in 1999. Both numbers were even higher for the country as a whole. The return to “the nest” varies, depending perhaps on such things as the labor market, the housing market and student debt in each locale.
The Bowling Green metropolitan statistical area has shared in the relative prosperity of this part of Kentucky, thanks largely to the auto sector, tourism and Western Kentucky University. Stability in the housing market has also helped.
Springfield, Mo., a city with a common name, has an economy with familiar successes and challenges. The health care sector is booming, and the cost of living is somewhat low, as are wages. But labor productivity seems to be subpar, and the poverty rate is above average.
Home to Walmart and several other large companies, this region has experienced unusually strong growth in population and income over the past half-century. Although the area was not immune to the Great Recession, Northwest Arkansas could be on the verge of another spurt, given that its economy often follows that of the U.S. business cycle, now in an upswing.
Louisville is the focus in the first installment of this new data-driven feature in The Regional Economist. Unlike many other older cities, Louisville has smoothly transitioned from the industrial economy to the service economy, thanks in no small part to its strong health-care and food-service industries.
The benefits of a college diploma are many, including higher pay, lower unemployment, maybe even better health. Yet many high school graduates still do not pursue a college degree. This article examines several key reasons why more people aren’t making this investment in themselves.
An unprecedented amount of aid was extended by the Treasury, Fed and FDIC to companies, agencies and individuals. This aid was necessary and, in many cases, will return a profit to taxpayers.
The current declines in employment and income are consistent with what happened in previous recessions going back to 1969. Unique this time are the major drop in home prices and the proactive response by policymakers.