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article imageUS Mayor's Conference - no good news until 2020 for some

By Gar Swaffar     Jun 21, 2011 in Business
The non-partisan United States Conference of Mayors has issued a report with a mixed bag of good news and bad news for Metro areas. The bad news is very bad news.
In the year 2020, some of the metro areas in the United States will have rebounded and returned to their pre-recession levels of job growth and unemployment levels. That seems to be the worst news in the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) report issued on June 20, 2011.
The good news is that some metro areas will regain the lost jobs and return to pre-recession levels by the end of this year.
The report bases the numbers on data from 363 of the 1,210 metro areas in the United States with populations of 30,000 or more. Each city is represented at the annual meeting by their respective mayor.
An average growth rate of 3.5% in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is projected for 2011, despite the low 1.9% growth projection in the first half of the year. 1.9% GDP growth is only just barely above the amount needed to ensure jobs for those entering or attempting to enter the job market.
Seventy five of the metro areas included in the report are expected to have double digit unemployment by the end of 2011. Cities such as Abilene, Texas aren't expected to regain their pre-recession job levels until after 2020. Some metro areas are even later such as Carson City, Nevada and Anderson, Indiana among others which are expected to recoup their losses after 2021.
Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles who is also the current President of the USCM made the following statement at the conference:
"It's time for Congress to get on with the serious business of legislating short and long-term solutions to our jobs crisis…. We need to stand for a new world order in federal spending. It's time to bring our investments back home. We can't be building roads and bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar, and not Baltimore and Kansas City.
It is the consensus of opinion of the conference attendees that much of the second-half growth recovery will be dependent on the price of oil stabilizing or continuing to decline. The price of gasoline is hoped to drop under US$3.50 by the fourth quarter.
Villaraigosa also touched on the need to raise the national debt ceiling and called on "posturing politicians" to yield to the necessity of the rise in the debt ceiling. It may be presumed Mayor Villaraigosa was calling primarily for those politicians adhering to strict budget cuts from the Republican side of the aisle, along with all of the moderate Democrats who are playing to the 2012 election cycle realities.
The report linked above and HERE, notes that the Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) of many of the cities exceeds by wide margins some of the GDP numbers of the international community. (beginning on page 3)
The report also shows a rise in the rankings of the metro areas of Washington D.C. with the rise being fueled by the federal government spending.
With two consecutive years of decline in 2008 and 2009, 2010 was a year of modest growth in GMP for some metro areas. New York metropolitan area GMP stood at US$1.28 trillion, Los Angeles came in second with US$738 billion followed by Chicago and Washington D.C.
The most troubling finding in the report (page 8) is that there will be 50 metropolitan areas for which this will comprise a lost decade, and of the metro areas included in the report, 103 still have double digit unemployment while 70 of those areas will still have double digit unemployment by the end of 2012.
While Mayor Villaraigosa offered a valiant attempt at an upbeat report at the conference it should be noted that the effects of the recession will continue for quite some time yet. The effects of the recession on the nation as a whole will have long term consequences which are as yet unknown in relation to the loss of job skills and the inability of younger job seekers in their search for career job development skills.
More about job growth, Metro, mayor's conference, Recession, GDP
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