Down and out in the West

 

With all this talk of a possible double-dip recession, it’s disheartening to note that Western unemployment rates are still sky-high from the last economic crisis. Nevada leads the country for the 14th straight month, due to its almost complete reliance on the still-pretty-dilapidated housing, gaming and tourism industries.“Construction was a larger share of our economy than in any other state,” explains University of Nevada, Reno, economist Elliot Parker, “and twice the national average at its peak.” California is also still reeling from the housing implosion, although not quite as much, owing to its more diverse economy. But Wyoming continues to sail above the fray (relatively) unscathed, thanks to the lively energy and other extractive industries. (And North Dakota has the country’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent, largely due to the Bakken Formation oil boom.)