The Northeast Can't Seem To Shake Its Slump

Two years behind the rest of the country, the Northeast is struggling out of recession. But the region's troubles may not be over, says a new forecast from DRI/McGraw-Hill. Over the next two years, DRI expects job growth in the Northeast to average about 1.6% annually, less than any other region. This sluggishness, says economist Sara L. Johnson, "reflects the relatively high cost of doing business in the Northeast." Growth is also being dampened by defense cutbacks in New England and layoffs in businesses such as insurance.

Where will job growth be the fastest? The leader, predicts DRI, will be the West South Central region, encompassing Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Close behind will be the South Atlantic region, which runs up the eastern seaboard from Florida to Delaware. If DRI's forecasts are right, the U.S. will see yet another wave of internal migration to the Sunbelt as workers follow the jobs.