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A decade after the financial crisis, the U.S. economy seems to be firing on all cylinders, with unemployment at a 50-year low and growth hitting its stride. But a deeper look reveals a more troubling picture: Between 2012 and 2015 -- a period when the recovery seemed to be gaining speed -- nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth, according to new government data.
More broadly, the Commerce Department figures highlight a stark and worrisome reality: While a handful of places around the U.S. are thriving, most regions are barely trudging ahead. And that trend is creating a widening geographic gap between a relatively few prosperous areas, mostly urban oases, and the desert of stagnation that lies beyond.
"For many communities, what you've got is a lost decade of economic growth," said John Lettieri, CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan think tank, adding that "the topline economy doesn't match the local experiences."
Perhaps the clearest sign of the imbalance between have and have-not counties: Between 2007 and 2016, the U.S. added 3.7 million net new jobs, Lettieri said. But more than 90 percent of those were created in the richest 20 percent of ZIP codes.
While the majority of densely populated counties added businesses, most counties with a population of less than 500,000 lost businesses from 2007 to 2016. Among the smallest counties (fewer than 100,000 people) only 1 in 5 added businesses over that time period.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/half-of-am ... recession/
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