Tracking the recession; where does your state land?

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - We were one of the last to go in. Now, economists predict Texas will be one of the first states to leave the recession. Moody's has been tracking the recession across the nation. It has compiled the numbers and has good news for Texans.

Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These states may not be near Texas, but they have more in common with the lone star state than you think.

"Texas is just a handful of states in the whole country that has not been hit as hard with the recession," said Tom Mullins, president of the Tyler Economic Development Council.

Economists predict job growth will return in these five states as early as the last quarter of this year. They say Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington benefit from strong high tech industries. Texas has energy.

"We've got so much variety," said Mullins. "We've really diversified our economy. I mean even without energy being strong, we've got a lot of technology growth. We've got a lot of different sources of revenue coming into the state."

The recession did not start at the same time in every state, and it won't end at the same time. Moody's along with MSNBC put together a recession tracker. It goes back to 1995, showing recession trends across the nation. Texas, for example, entered the recession in February of 2009. It was one of the last states to do so.

One reason economists say Texas is stronger is because of the state's better than average housing market.

"A lot of home builders, a couple of years ago, saw that there might be a slow down coming, so they stated to cut back and not speculate as much," explained Mullins. "We didn't have as much problem with the sub prime mortgages. Our lenders are cautious and conservative."

The recession tracker also shows employment and housing numbers for cities like Tyler and Longview. Economists say, right now, everything really is bigger and better in Texas.

"They should be very happy to be in Texas," said Mullins.

The next wave of states predicted to start seeing job growth in the first quarter of 2010 are Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.

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