Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Markets Are in a Recession Now?

A couple of recent posts (Econbrowser "Is This a Recession?" and The Big Picture "A Perfect Recession Indicator" have observed a perfect correlation between year over year employment loss (i.e., fewer people are employed in April 2008 than in April 2007) and the subsequent identification of a recession for that time frame. No one publishes GDP figures for individual markets, but if we accept year over year employment loss as a proxy what markets are in a recession now?

Of the markets we track, the big loser is Detroit (probably no surprise there):
Detroit has been losing jobs every period since 2001. It's probably also not a surprise that Riverside-San Bernardino is losing jobs:

But, if you thought all markets with housing price woes are in recessions, you would be wrong. For example, not only is Las Vegas gaining jobs, it is doing so at an accelerating rate:

Here is the whole list:

Moderate to Strong Job Growth Trending Up: Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, San Antonio

Weak Job Growth and/or Trending Down: Atlanta, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco-Oakland, San Jose, Washington DC

Nominal Job Growth or Actual Decline: Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Riverside-San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego

The data is as of April 2008 (released by the BLS in June). The sources and methodology can be found in the free sample report which can be downloaded from our website here.