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Old 05-19-2007, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
832 posts, read 3,558,428 times
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Unemployment rate in Houston is at its lowest ever: 3.7%
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,447,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeLaSalle View Post
Are you aiming for the "Darwin Award"...?
Those are so hilarious, they deserve their own thread!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearBranch View Post
Unemployment rate in Houston is at its lowest ever: 3.7%
Wow, that's stunning for such a large city.

What I notice most about the "boom" in Texas is that it's leaving most people behind. Sure, you can get a job, but most of the increase in earnings is going to people who don't need it while the increase in number of jobs is primarily at minimum wage. My debt payments require double the minimum wage and that's before taking the rapidly-increasing cost of living in Austin into account. Meanwhile I'm watching massive luxury condos sprouting all over downtown like mushrooms, being snatched up by Californians who use the equity from their west coast homes to buy what look like bargains to them.

But the vibrancy of this city is nice, it's definitely better than living in a place that's super-cheap because nothing is happening and nobody wants to live there.
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 378,941 times
Reputation: 50
Yeah. Houston is on fire.

There are very few places in America where the economy is exceptionally BAD. The American economy is humming along just fine--which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that we're just getting over the technological boom/bust, 9/11, and we're still paying for the War on Terror. Amazing!

Denver is good. The south, generally, is very good. Even Louisville is starting to attract business and attract newcomers.
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Old 05-19-2007, 08:30 PM
 
121 posts, read 361,685 times
Reputation: 73
Default You are wrong about Montana.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattDen View Post
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have been doing very well. Wyoming because of the natural resources and Idaho and Montana because of new construction.
Montana's economy is not as strong as you think. Eastern Montana is experiencing an influx of money from petroleum based production but most of the state is a very hard place to live because the ratio of wages to housing costs is so extreme. Too many people moving in from more prosperous areas in other states have driven up the price of housing because they come here with much more money. Long time/native Montanans can't afford to buy a house here anymore. U.S. Bureau of Labor's information on average weekly wages ranks Montana 49th in wages in its February 2007 report. Most of our young people leave for higher paying jobs out of state with the hopes that someday they can come back to Montana and retire. Very sad indeed.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
157 posts, read 443,857 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
I have no reason to dispute the facts about which places are booming, but I do question the sanity of humans considering that drought and hurricanes are the two most common widespread natural disasters and the places that are booming are in deserts and along the hurricane-prone coastal regions of the SE.

Los Angeles is experiencing its driest year in recorded history, yet the San Bernardino-Riverside area is booming? Along with Phoenix and Vegas? It's only a matter of time before a severe multi-year drought wreaks havoc with that region. Informal climate records from the 19th century indicate a drought persisting for 2 decades, wiping out the fledgling ranching industry at the time. There's only so much snow melt and aquifer water that these desert towns can gobble up before a limit is reached.
It’s true that the cities/states currently experiencing significant growth are the ones most susceptible to either water shortages or destructive weather. As for the southwest drought, only time will tell whether the weather will cooperate by bringing enough snow, over a prolonged period, many years in fact, to the Rocky Mountains; thus resulting in sufficient runoff to the Colorado River. Right now, the situation looks bleak projected over the long term. Regardless of these pitfalls, people will generally still migrate to cities and states that will give them the best job opportunities. Warm weather areas are also traditionally favored by retirees. While the southwest and southeastern coastal states are growing fast, they’re not the only ones.

http://www.demographia.com/db-2000stater.htm
Based on the 2000 census, Texas was the leader in population growth in states where percentage changes exceeded at least 20% and was second overall. Although California was first in population growth by sheer numbers, its 13% change (vs. 22.8% for Texas) was the lowest of the top ten due to residents leaving and fanning out to Oregon, Washington, and the southwest. More current data from 2000-2005 supports this trend. It appears that California has been experiencing growth pains leading people to leave for other states.

If drought and hurricanes should also factor into people’s decisions in selecting a economically viable place to live over the long term, then where do you propose they go? The midwest, as you know, has been stagnant due to the contraction of its manufacturing sector, in particular, the auto industry, basically leaving it out of contention. Other than Washington state, what about the Tornado Alley region? Since damage from singular instances of tornadoes are confined to smaller areas than those hurricane-related, then this region would probably make more sense to you. According to this map, this region consists of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Lousiana, and parts of Ilinois, Indiana , Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennesee. Compare these two maps:

http://www.tornadochaser.net/tornadoalley.jpg
http://www.inc.com/bestcities/map.html (broken link)
Of the states comprising Tornado Alley, one state stands out for its economic vibrancy: Texas. Since Texas’ cities are well-represented on the boom list topping out at 29 (followed by California’s 28 and Florida’s 22) and its economy is doing well overall by its oil based industries, world exports, high tech sector, manufacturing, and low unemployment, it would stand to reason that Texas would be a prime state for more people to move to. Dallas, Houston, and Austin are the major draws. (My husband has been to Austin and likes it too!)

Further, over the longer term, Texas’ most populated areas are probably more viable than those in Nevada, Arizona, and California, in terms of drought issues and assuming adequate projected water supplies. According to the link you provided, Texas doesn’t appear to be currently experiencing drought conditions and looks like it recovered from last’s year drought which resulted in $4 billion in farm-related losses. Btw, how is Midland, TX doing economicallly and droughtwise? Any thoughts? Midland is on the boom list. I thought Midland was your location.

Last edited by desertgirl; 05-21-2007 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,447,935 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgirl View Post
If drought and hurricanes should also factor into people’s decisions in selecting a economically viable place to live over the long term, then where do you propose they go?
Good question. I think the number one issue we face in the long run is overpopulation, not just as a nation but as a planet. Our current economic policy is a pyramid scheme built on hard-working low-wage immigrants, which is why Congress and the Prez won't do anything other than make empty promises about controlling the borders. They know we'd suffer an economic hit if our corporations, ag and construction industries lost the competitive edge they get from paying dirt-cheap labor, often illegally and thus saving on payroll tax and other costs of employment.

But given that we're clearly going to over-populate this nation at a rapid pace for the foreseeable future, it seems to me that the most viable places to live, strictly from a resource-availability and disaster-avoidance perspective, are the interior northwest and virtually everything east of the 98th meridian that isn't within 10 miles of the hurricane-prone coasts and is at least 20 feet above sea level. Oceans are rising and land is subsiding for various reasons, I don't want to get into a political debate but those are factoids about much of the SE and people can believe in whatever reasons they want. They can't argue with measurements, though.

Interesting to compare where the highest concentrations of native Americans lived vs. our current population distribution. It seems that a lot of the center of the nation, what coastal folks call "flyover country," had some of the highest concentrations. But as you get west of the 94th meridian you get into that Dust Bowl zone that is extremely vulnerable to drought. It will happen again and it will devastate places like DFW, OK City and KS City. The New Madrid fault will blow its gasket in the not-too-distant future, unleashing at least a magnitude 7 quake that will level Memphis and many other cities that aren't prepared for quakes. We're seeing a severe drought in AL and GA right now. There's no escaping the risks.

The extremely rapid growth of the Austin-San Antonio metro region is built on a shaky foundation of relatively stable wet-dry patterns over the past few decades, but historically there's evidence of multi-year droughts that would see our lakes, rivers and aquifers drop to dangerously low levels even with extreme conservation.

And then there's the energy situation --- if anything happens to the reliability of our energy supplies, the warm sectors of the sunbelt will become painfully expensive to live in comfortably. Texas is heavily populated because of air conditioning. Believe me, I wouldn't live here if I had to deal with the heat and humidity 24/7!
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgirl View Post
Btw, how is Midland, TX doing economicallly and droughtwise? Any thoughts? Midland is on the boom list. I thought Midland was your location.
Midland booms when oil prices get high enough to make the Permian Basin wells profitable. I don't know the long-term prospects for oil supplies from that region but prices are likely to stay high and will eventually go a lot higher unless someone discovers how to harness quantum-entangled quarks to siphon energy from a parallel universe.

I didn't comment on your economic discussion, I think you covered that topic well, so I was mainly focusing here on the compatibility of the land and its environs with increased human populations. Frankly I think every place is over its naturally sustainable limit, but I'm rather apocalyptic about the future of our species so you should probably ignore me.

I'm not from Midland. I was deeptrance and left this forum by imposing a ban on myself for annoying my favorite admin too many times. But I was getting so many PM's e-mailed to me that I decided to create a new ID just for the purpose of responding to people who request help. Truth be told, the deeptrance ID has my correct info, I just cannot log into that account because I scrambled my own password. And it's the second time I've done that, so... What can I say, I'm a dork!
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:16 PM
 
Location: IN
20,863 posts, read 35,992,597 times
Reputation: 13305
Post Strong Economy Areas in the Midwest and Plains!

Here is a good listing of cities in the Midwest that have experienced strong economic growth between 2000-2004, which is the most recent data available.

Madison, Wisconsin (Dane County) Non-farm employment increased by 11.6% between 2000-2004 and the county now has over 247,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 463,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was near $54,000 as of 2004.

Rochester, Minnesota (Olmsted County) Non-farm employment increased by 6.8% between 2000-2004 and the county now has over 80,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 137,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $58,000 as of 2004.

Chicago Metro (Will County) Non-farm employment increased by 13.2% between 2000-2004 and the county now has over 161,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 668,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $66,000 as of 2004.

Kansas City Metro (Platte County Missouri) Non-farm employment increased by 7.2% between 2000-2005 and the county now has over 38,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 83,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $61,000 as of 2004.

Des Moines Metro (Dallas County) Non-farm employment increased by 51.5% between 2000-2004 and the county now has around 15,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 54,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $59,000 as of 2004.

Sioux Falls, SD Metro (Lincoln County) Non-farm employment increased by 41.9% between 2000-2004 and the county now has around 7,400 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 35,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $59,000 as of 2004.

Sioux Falls, SD Metro (Minnehaha County) Non-farm employment increased by 5.6% between 2000-2004 and the county now has around 104,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 163,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $46,000 as of 2004.

Fargo, ND Metro (Cass County) Non-farm employment increased by 8.5% between 2000-2004 and the county now has nearly 80,000 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 132,500 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $44,000 as of 2004.

Indianapolis, IN Metro (Hamilton County) Non-farm employment increased by 14.5% between 2000-2004 and the county now has nearly 91,500 non-farm jobs as of 2004. The total population of the county is around 251,000 as of 2006, and the median household income was over $82,000 as of 2004.

There are many areas in the Midwest and Plains that have featured strong economic growth over the past several years. The recent economic data is not out yet for 2005-2006, but these counties have historically had strong economic growth, income growth, and tend to be in metro areas or in close proximity to larger metro areas.
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,447,935 times
Reputation: 396
I'm surprised by the growth in Indianapolis.

Is there perhaps an inevitable resurgance of the midwest looming on the horizon, as costs in other parts of the country rise faster than in the abandoned places? Iowa, for example, lost population during much of the last 2 decades but it is a lovely state that can surely rebound through the competitive advantage of lower costs and the desire of many in the crowded sunbelt to find quieter places with less crime and lower housing prices.

Recently I was saying on another forum that Austin is becoming so over-burdened with newcomers that it's a miserable experience to drive here, and much of what I used to love about the city has changed as it has been drowned by the invasion of people who don't care about the roots of the place, they're more interested in re-creating a version of Los Angeles or Dallas. I see many questions on this forum, in the Austin section, asking about safe neighborhoods and good places to go shopping, but almost nobody is asking about the things that make Austin unique. They're simply looking for jobs, housing, shopping and restaurants that mimic any other generic US city.

So I asked the question on another forum, where can I go to find what is being lost in Austin? And one person responded, quite seriously, "North Dakota." LOL, I cannot stand the extreme cold or the lack of forests, but for those who like the landscape and long bitter winters then perhaps that is a good location!
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:05 PM
 
Location: IN
20,863 posts, read 35,992,597 times
Reputation: 13305
Post Plains/Midwest

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
I'm surprised by the growth in Indianapolis.

Is there perhaps an inevitable resurgance of the midwest looming on the horizon, as costs in other parts of the country rise faster than in the abandoned places? Iowa, for example, lost population during much of the last 2 decades but it is a lovely state that can surely rebound through the competitive advantage of lower costs and the desire of many in the crowded sunbelt to find quieter places with less crime and lower housing prices.

Recently I was saying on another forum that Austin is becoming so over-burdened with newcomers that it's a miserable experience to drive here, and much of what I used to love about the city has changed as it has been drowned by the invasion of people who don't care about the roots of the place, they're more interested in re-creating a version of Los Angeles or Dallas. I see many questions on this forum, in the Austin section, asking about safe neighborhoods and good places to go shopping, but almost nobody is asking about the things that make Austin unique. They're simply looking for jobs, housing, shopping and restaurants that mimic any other generic US city.

So I asked the question on another forum, where can I go to find what is being lost in Austin? And one person responded, quite seriously, "North Dakota." LOL, I cannot stand the extreme cold or the lack of forests, but for those who like the landscape and long bitter winters then perhaps that is a good location!
Their could be a resurgance in the Midwest when people discover that many cities and metro areas in the Midwest area have strong economies, good quality of life, and affordable real estate. The sunbelt is already starting to get very crowded in some areas. For example, Sioux Falls and Fargo both offer fairly strong economies, affordable home prices compared with other areas of the country, and many small towns within close proxmity to the urban area. The Midwest and Plains also offers 4 distinct seasons and fairly low tax rates in the smaller metros compared with other higher populated metro areas in the sunbelt.
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,447,935 times
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The colder regions that people have been fleeing from in the USA are the ones that will have the lowest cost of living when AC becomes prohibitive in the South. The only thing that makes most of the deep South, Texas and low-elevation areas of Arizona habitable is AC. If energy prices spike, it's always easier to warm a house than to cool it, with some exceptions for badly designed CACH systems and architectural quirks.
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