A story in the Wall Street Journal last week threw a new perspective on unemployment statistics: Of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Charleston is one of only 14 that actually have added jobs since the onset of the 2008-2009 Great Recession.
Not surprisingly, Washington, D.C., is another. Growth of the federal bureaucracy seldom slows, even in the face of widespread economic misery.
“Despite showing strong job growth,” the Journal adds, “a few metro areas could be disproportionately affected in the months ahead by automatic government spending cuts. Washington and Charleston, in particular, could be hurt by job losses since they’re home to large numbers of military families and contractors.”
But Charleston, whatever the sequestration brings, is and will continue to be far removed from economic basket cases epitomized by Stockton, Calif. (in bankruptcy) and Detroit, Mich. (facing the same).
Nationally the number of working-age Americans holding full-time jobs has declined over the last five years, despite population growth. Under policies pursued by the Obama administration, there are fewer pulling the wagon of economic growth and more riding in it. Sooner or later (and it better be sooner), this is something that Congress and the president must address before the nation reaches the point of no return, fast approaching.
Meanwhile, though, don’t take for granted the benefits of living in a community that has defied the extended employment downturn.
Don’t forget, either, that our local assets aren’t limited to economic strength.
For instance, there are few natural blessings more glorious than a Lowcountry spring as it reaches full bloom.
That special season does bolster our tourist business.
But it’s still something that money can’t buy.