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Where Are the Jobs? The South and Midwest

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American South and Midwest are surging ahead of the Northeast and West Coast in job offerings. WSJ:

A regional breakdown of the figures shows significant variation across the country. In the Midwest, hiring is up nearly 38% in the recovery, and the hiring rate — the number of hires per employed worker — has returned to pre-recession levels. The South’s rebound has been nearly as strong. Both regions have about three unemployed workers per job opening, better than the national average.

The Northeast and the West, meanwhile, are lagging behind. Employers in the Northeast hired 713,000 workers in June, barely above the 710,000 they hired in the last month of the recession. The ratio of job-seekers to openings, at 3.3, is a hair below the national average, but that’s mostly because companies there aren’t posting many jobs: Openings are up just 21% since the recession ended.

In the West, hiring is up a modest 14% since the end of the recession, but that has done little to make a dent in the region’s brutal unemployment problem. There are still 4.3 unemployed workers for every job opening in the West, by far the worst ratio in the nation.

Job numbers across the board are still very poor, but this is good news. These regions were the hardest hit in the recession; now the Midwest is benefiting from new energy jobs, while in the South, manufacturing is reviving.

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  • thibaud

    Good news for Team Obama. Romney’s chances of running the tables on the swing states, incl Ohio, are slim and getting slimmer by the week.

  • Kenny

    I’m in Ohio and neither Obama nor Sherrod Brown is going to prevail in November.

    Recall, in 2010, the GOP won ever statewide race in Ohio, gained control of the state assembly and increased its majority in the state senate. That momentum has not disparate and will carry over to this year’s election.

    Then there was a statewide referendum essentially calling for the repeal of ObamaCare in 2011. It won easily.

    As for jobs, credit for the improved employment numbers in Ohio is going to Gov. Kasich (and the GOP legislature) who eliminated the $8 billion (inherited deficit from Democrat Ted Strickland) while decreasing taxes.

    Furthermore, the GOP here is all behind fracking while the Democrats drag their feet, make war on coal (another Ohio industry) and still push for squandering money on windmills.

  • Alex Scipio

    Where are the Right to Work states? The South & Midwest.


    I don’t think so.

  • thibaud

    The demographics have already shifted, Kenny. The math puts any GOP challenger, except maybe a Latino woman challenger, at a significant disadvantage from the get-go. As the GOP strategists like to say, your party is too old, too fat, too white.

    Romney has to win Ohio – AND Virginia, AND North Carolina, AND Florida, and Colorado, and Wisconsin and Iowa.

    The only way that this will happen is if there is a massive, nationwide shift in Romney’s favor. The only way that would happen is if the economy gets worse – ain’t happening – or there’s another version of 1980’s “October Surprise”.

    Perhaps you’re not old enough to recall, but the Iranians refused to release the hostages and the rescue mission failed.

    These two blows, plus ABC News and Nightline reminding the voters every day (“Day 99 of the Iranian hostage crisis… Day 100.. Day 200…) were what tipped the blue-collar Democrats in favor of an old man whom they had previously viewed as a doddering old reactionary corporate tool. The election had been very close up till the last weekend.

    Perhaps there’s an October Surprise in the works this year, but given Obama’s sterling record in the WoT, in the unlikely event that such a surprise occurs, I seriously doubt it would work in Mitt the Twit’s favor. If the swing voters focus on any foreign news events at all this year, the Seals’ Abbottabad Doubletap will be at the top of the list.

  • Jbird

    Thaibaud: that “doddering old reactionary corporate tool” turned out to be quite a good president, huh? You ran the approval #’s for the living presidents to show W. to be unpopular. I wonder what Reagan’s #’s would be. In 2002 it was 73%. Quite a bit more than the Clinton # you gave of 66%. Since you approvingly quote post-presidential approval numbers as proof of effectiveness, I’ll assume you agree with the idea that Reagan was one of the best of all time.

  • thibaud

    Jbird – a good summary here – scroll down and look at the color-coded chart, far right hand column, for the aggregate rankings of about a dozen surveys of US historians in recent years.

    Reagan’s aggregate ranking (#17) puts him in the middle of the second quartile, behind John Kennedy (11) and Lyndon Johnson (14) and just in front of George Herbert Walker Bush (22) and Bill Clinton (20).

    Carter was ranked in the third quartile, at #27. George W Bush was ranked in the upper tier of the bottom quartile, at #34.

  • thibaud

    “Since you approvingly quote post-presidential approval numbers as proof of effectiveness”

    Nope. I merely pointed out the silliness of our host’s sneer (“What are they thinking?”) concerning the political logic of inviting a popular ex-president to speak at a party’s nominating convention.

    Fwiw, I think it likely that George W Bush’s reputation in future decades will likely rise somewhat, maybe to the middle of the third quartile near Carter. For one thing, he tried manfully to stem the disastrous rise of starve-the-state lunacy in his party.

    If/when the Norquist and TP faction is beaten down and made irrelevant, as the Birchers were by WF Buckley’s generation of GOPpers, then some of the credit may rub off on W.

  • Ritchie The Riveter

    If/when the Norquist and TP faction is beaten down and made irrelevant, as the Birchers were by WF Buckley’s generation of GOPpers, then some of the credit may rub off on W.

    Apples and oranges, thibaud … the Tea Party movement is both broader, and more common-sense, than the Birchers ever were.

    And we have risen up in response to the very thinking you continue to promote here … that detailed governance by an elite few is better for us … than limited governance, managed by a few of us, that concentrates on securing our unalienable rights so that the rest of us can handle the details ourselves and/or with our neighbors – who are in a far better position to get the answers right than an elite few at the top.

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