Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Recession Hurt Some States More Than Others

The Great Recession drove economic insecurity to record levels in nearly every state in the country, but left residents of the Southeast and West in the most perilous financial position, a new report shows.

The study, released Thursday by Yale University political science professor Jacob Hacker and The Rockefeller Foundation, found that, from 2008 to 2010, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida and Georgia had the highest levels of insecurity. In Mississippi, for example, about one in four residents suffered large economic losses in 2009 and 2010. In Florida, it was about one in five residents, and the housing bust has helped raise the rate of insecurity by 41 percent since 1986. California, also hit hard by the housing crisis, was sixth in the rankings of overall insecurity, with nearly 23 percent of the Golden State’s residents suffering large losses in 2010.

States in the northeast fared better overall, and residents of New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Washington, and Minnesota had the lowest rates of large economic losses from 2008 to 2010.

That’s not to say that people in those states have been spared economic hardship. “Even states that have relatively low levels of insecurity, such as New Hampshire, nonetheless have very, very high levels of income losses,” Hacker said.

And states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, while they still stack up well in relative terms, also saw fairly large spikes in insecurity from 2008 to 2010. Minnesota, in fact, experienced a 28 percent spike in average levels of insecurity in the years 2008 through 2010 compared with 1997 to 2007, the highest of any state. Delaware, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, Idaho, Colorado, Tennessee, Missouri and Nevada also saw increases of more than 20 percent. The New England states, by contrast, had the lowest percentage increases in insecurity. Read more.....

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