Best and worst cities for recession

March 20, 2009 9:12:57 PM PDT
The number of American workers drawing state unemployment benefits hit another record high this month. If you're one of them, you're probably wondering what you need to do to track down a job.

Location, location, location - that mantra doesn't just apply to real estate. Turns out the recession can discriminate based on where you live.

California, Florida, and Nevada -- are all feeling the pinch of foreclosures. The financial sector is taking its toll on New York and Chicago. While the auto industry has positioned the Great Lakes states smack dab in between a rock and a hard place due to slumping manufacturing jobs.

"Sectors that are still hiring are again: government, education and health," said Jeremy Nowak, CEO, Reinvestment Fund and Policy Map.com.

University towns top the rankings of best places to live during a downturn.

"State college PA, healthy town, right? Penn State University is the main employer there , it's not going away anywhere, any time soon. Think about college towns that are also state capitals, right? Madison, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas," said Nowak.

Government towns also tend to be relatively stable. Even when budgets are slashed, cities don't tend to go out of business.

"I would say Washington, DC, obviously, federal government, but also suburbs, right outside of Washington, DC," said Nowak.

While the rest of country is in significant decline, Texas is described as being flat.

"Good education and medical sector and also energy sector that still relatively healthy," said Nowak.

But should you pack up the U-haul for a job?

"The household has to make a decision, based on their own self-interest, and what they think the best opportunity is, for them," said Nowak.

In that case, Arlington, Virginia, Washington DC, and Durham, North Carolina may all be good places to call home at least in a recession.


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