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Diverse Local Economies


What the economy is like across the U.S. is as varied as one might expect from prosperous Los Angeles to struggling towns in North Carolina.

While the markets are getting spooked by worries of a second recession, there are some areas of the country that still don’t feel like they’ve come out of the first one. Even though the recession was officially over in June 2009, that’s not the way it felt to most Americans.

Business Insider asked its readers to report back on what local economies in the U.S. were looking like. And the responses were as varied as one might expect. While some people reported that the local economy was booming, others said spending was down and crime on the rise.

“People agreed that the rich and the employed were fine, but the poor and the unemployed were getting desperate,” Gus Lubin and Eric Goldschein wrote.

Predictably, Los Angeles seems to have bounced back just fine. One reader said that there is no recession, especially if you look at Redondo Beach. She reported packed malls, new construction going up and busy restaurants. But just two hours south, San Diego is troubled by empty storefronts.

One reader in a central New Jersey town said “everything is peachy.” Although, he admits that it’s probably because the residents are mostly “super wealthy” doctors, lawyers and Wall Street types.

North Carolina doesn’t seem to be doing so well. Burlington is reportedly stagnant but getting worse with empty strip malls. In Charlotte the residential construction is a problem. There have been empty neighborhoods for three or four years, which were built up during the boom.

And Minnesota seems to be a mixed bag, with some reports saying there hasn’t been a slowdown, and even the recession hadn’t affected the area much, and others reporting it was difficult to get a 40-hour work week.

While the United States seems to be a patchwork of regions holding up or struggling, Business Insider reported comments from a reader in Sweden, where things seem to be more than okay.

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