Great recession

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Chapter 3:

The eight counties which make up the Meramec Region enjoyed six years of economic growth and falling unemployment rates until a recession swept the county in December 2007. It is important to note the recession as the region suffered significant loss of industry, high unemployment rates, loss of home value and home foreclosures.
The cause is attributed to the subprime mortgage crisis which led to the collapse of the so called housing bubble. Falling housing-related assets contributed to a global financial crisis, even as oil and food prices soared. The crisis led to the failure or collapse of many of the United States' largest financial institutions: Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG, as well as a crisis in the automobile industry. The federal government responded with an unprecedented $700 billion bank bailout and a $787 billion fiscal stimulus package.

The Great Recession as is now known –lasted one and a half years ending during June 2009. Although the recession is technically over the region and county are still feeling the effects, making a slow economic recovery.

As the Labor Force Characteristics are reviewed, it is important to keep the Great Recession in mind to help explain the sudden increase in unemployment.

  • Civilian noninstitutional population: Persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are not inmates of institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

  • Civilian labor force: All persons in the civilian noninstitutional population classified as either employed or unemployed.

  • Employed persons: All persons who, during the reference week (week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of their family, or (b) were not working but who had jobs from which they were temporarily absent. Each employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job.

  • Unemployed persons: All persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment some time during the 4 week-period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.

  • Unemployment rate: The ratio of unemployed to the civilian labor force expressed as a percent [i.e., 100 times (unemployed/labor force)].


Tables 3-1 through 3-10 located at the end of this chapter illustrate the labor force characteristics for each of the eight counties in the region, Missouri and the Meramec Region as a whole for 1980 through 2010. The sources of information for these tables are the 1980, 1990, 2000 Census and the 2006 – 2010 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates.

Crawford County (Table 3-1)

In 2010 the civilian labor force of Crawford County was comprised of 5,963 men and 5,346 women for a total of 11,309 persons in the force, an increase of 53.4 percent from 1980 (chart 3-1). The unemployment rate of the county in 1980 was 11 percent which dropped to an average of 6 percent in 2000. This drop is attributed to a concerted effort during the period to draw additional and diversified industry to the county and the expansion of the labor market. The great recession caused a sharp increase in the unemployment rate to 11.5 percent in 2010 with 1,302 persons considered unemployed. Chart 3-2 provides a graphic depiction of the unemployment rates from 1980 through 2010.

Source: 1980, 1990, 2000 Census and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-yr Estimates

Source: 1980, 1990, 2000 Census and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-yr Estimates
In 2010, 41 percent of those counted in the civilian noninstitutional population were not in the civilian labor force. This number is down by 5 percent from 1980. Notably, the percentage of males not in the labor force has increased since 1980 by 3.9 percent compared to the number of females not in the labor force decreasing by 12.9 percent during the same period (chart 3-3).

Source: 1980, 1990, 2000 Census and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-yr Estimates

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