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February 1993, Vol. 116, No. 2
Mary C. Dzialo, Susan E. Shank, and David C. Smith
T he recession of the early 1990's hit hardest on the east and west coasts, starting in the Northeast, especially in New England, and then moving down the Atlantic coast. During 1991 and continuing into 1992, the Pacific coast also felt the effects of the recession. The Midwest and the South Central part of the country were much less affected. By contrast, the regions that were ravaged by the deep recession of 1981-82 were the heavily industrialized "rust belt" States of the Midwest and East South Central States.
This article examines labor market changes in major geographic regions of the country from 1990 through 1992 and compares these developments with those of the 1981-82 recession. It relies primarily on calendar-year averages of employment and unemployment for the 1989-92 period, with occasional references to to earlier years. The article utilizes newly available seasonally adjusted data on employment status by census region and division,1 as well as data on nonfarm wage and salary employment by industry.2 Seasonally adjusted quarterly data are used when an annual average obscures important changes during a year and when analyzing events during 1992. Conditions in New England are examined in the greatest detail, because the New England States led the Nation into recession and suffered the most severe declines in their labor market conditions.
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 1993 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The States (and the District of Columbia) that make up the four census regions and nine divisions are as follows:
|New England||East North Central|
|West North Central|
|South Atlantic||South Dakota|
|District of Columbia|
|East South Central||New Mexico|
|West South Central||Alaska|
2 The two primary sources of data are the Current Population Survey (CPS) of about 60,000 households and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey of about 350,000 nonfarm establishments. State data from the CES are not currently available on a seasonally adjusted basis; therefore, the first two sections of this article utilize CES annual averages, while the third section uses January-November averages for 1991 and 1992.
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