Southern Unemployment Rates Among Worst in the Nation

The South, which entered the recession with lower unemployment rates than the nation's other regions, currently has some of the highest rates of joblessness in the nation. A New York Times article reports that the South now has higher rates of unemployment than both the Northeast and the Midwest. Unemployment rates in the South have even surpassed those in the Rust Belt. The Rust Belt, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, has been plagued by high rates of unemployment since before the recession began. Currently, Southern states account for 6 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates.


One explanation, for which the article cites the Brookings Institution's analysis, of the shift in regional unemployment rates relative to the rest of the country is that the auto-industry of the Rust Belt may be slightly improving from the hard hit it took at the start of the recession. The plummeting value of homes in the Sun Belt and Western states, on the other hand, have not improved.
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