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What is your local economic situation? Give us the short story, long story, details. Good, bad or ugly what is going on in your hometown? Something like this will give us a much better pulse on the economy than what the establishment is telling us.

Me personally:

I live in rural Southern Illinois, and almost every single county and town is laying off workers from firefighters to school teachers due to massive budget deficits.

Most of these defecits have to do with not recieving grants/payments from our inglorious state.

Our local 4 year school Southern Illinois University is almost 100 million behind on state payments, looking to borrow for now but has no long term plan to deal with this.

Local bussinesses are very fragile, most fighting just to keep the doors open. Our state, county, and small town employees are the base of our economy here.

Maybe it is better elsewhere, but I'm not very encouraged by what I see here.
 

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I am in the Southeastern portion of VA and the tourist season around here dictates what goes on financially. Lot's of hotels vacant last year, lots of restaurants closing down, lots of small businesses going under. Many were able to weather the storm in 2008, and hang on through 2009 as they burned through capital, but 2010 will see all that capital gone and the doors closed. It is not pretty.
 

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Today is recycling day and while out on my morning run I saw 2 separate boxes for large LCD televisions.

Clearly at least some folks in my 'hood feel confident enough to buy expensive electronics.
 

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Here is Mississippi things are not good. People being laid off from work or having their hrs cut. Plants are closing down and school are cutting back. They are suppose to cut the bus drivers pay next school year.The coimpany that my husband works for in Memphis Tn, can not seem to find work so for the past year and a half all the men have had their hrs, cut by one half. The company laided off more warehouse workers and welder this week. Now they only have a very few men left and can't find work for those to do. My husband is sitting home again today. Don't let any one tell you that things are getting better . If it is, then people here in Mississppi and Memphis Tn sure aren't seeing it. Every where you look you see plants and stores shut down or going out of business.Homes are up for sell but no buyers for them. Up the street from me there is a brick home that sold for $119,000 three years ago, now it has been up for sell for over 8 months, they are trying to get $69,000 for the home and one acre of land and no one will ,or can buy it.
 

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central ky. phillips lighting factory closing, red wing boots .fki. { makes conveyers] closing. Norfolk southern closing the rail yard.ll donelly laying off. several resturants closed. kmart closing. goodys already gone. hobart is hiring. at this rate we will be left with nothing but a general store and the phones will back to party line ps the prison was burnt down in a riot last fall. the state is saying now it wont be rebuilt. at 18 mill damage
 

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Took the Great Recession a while to get to east Texas, but I assure you it's here. It creeped in slowly, not with a roar. City sales taxes are running downy by 10-15% with city facing budget shortfall of 15 mil for a town of 75,000. Tri-county unemployment rate at 7% or a little better. Real estate values, school district incomes and most everything else here is based on mineral values for the tax basis. Mineral values will be down at least 15%. Taxes WILL be going up! GM truck frame plant here cut waaaaay back. Company sold most of its operations to get this-------company in Mexico. Where in the hell did they get any money to buy anything? No bank failures here, didn't even have a branch of one that did in Texas. Best jumbo cd rate in town is 2%-all else are 1.5%. But by GOD when all this recession started and banks quit lending--------every dam bank in town built at least one new branch. Somebody explain that to me. Gun sales----even for Texas---out the roof. No particular real estate bubble here though, most folks are pretty conservative. Colleges have more students that they can accommodate, and the rates here have gone through the roof since the state deregulated public institutions about 4 years ago. Another 5% increase already for next year. That covers most of it here.
 

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sic transit gloria mundi
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Boise, ID area - mostly stagnant. Real estate prices, foreclosure rates and unemployment rates have remain unchanged over the past 6 or so months. Micron Technology, the area's largest employer, laid off a whole bunch of people several months ago but there are recent signs of a possible turnaround. We probably got thumped less than many places because of perceived "quality of life" advantages that kept some of the major employers from consolidating corporate operations out of the area. Still, we're mostly holding our breath.
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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nine houses on my street for sale and three more four rent. Two that I know of were bank-owned and another for sure is a short sale. This is not a typical "renters" neighborhood. Average house here sells for $78 sq/ft and most are upwards of 2600 sq/ft.

Losts of otherwise prime retail space for lease and even more warehouse and commercial space for lease---yet large buildings are still being erected.

County Courthouse last summer had five 2" books of tax auction properties.

Day laborer areas have more and more "non hispanic" people looking for work.

Big markdown sales on all kinds of durable equipment and service based businesses are offering deep discounts (20-30%).
 

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Hey Grub, great idea for a thread.

In the Tampa bay of area Florida, unemployment yesterday tied a record at 13+% , yes I just became one of them too, because of a lack of work the small business I was at closed, adjacent counties are 16 and 17, this does not include unemployed migrant farm workers now idle due to the tomato crop for winter being 70% lost due to weather. What I have noticed as I look for work and do odd jobs mostly around my neighborhood is that the housing vacancies are way up and both the professional scavengers, realtors, and the amateurs, soon to be looters, are everywhere. In February alone 4000 homes foreclosed on. My street has about 16 homes, 4 people walking away from there places now, one already had the outside AC unit stolen for copper I assume. I’m 45 years old and a native of this area, never seen so many homeless people in my life. Most underpasses and wooded areas around the interstate have trails worn down in them where camps are setup. When I was working, doing field service, I had the chance to stop in at gun stores now and then while on the road. Like woodyp said about Texas, sales through the roof. State budget, shot, last year our Gov. Charlie Christ took 2.5 BILLION dollars of bailout money to meet the Florida Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, no extra this year to help out. So long story short, state, counties and cities broke, lot of people homeless, unemployed and armed. Sounds like a fun place to be right!!

Look forward to this thread being a sticky and getting everyone’s input.

John
 

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California:

published unemployment rate: 13.2%
real unemployment rate: closer to 20%

State budget deficit: $20 Billion (current spending is $600 million more per month than government takes in)
 
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South Alabama here........tourist area. Business is starting to pick back up here, but last summer bombed. Not a lot of vacationers. No real 40 hour a week jobs either. I do security at a nightclub and part time maintainance at a condo. Looking at picking up a 3rd PT job to make my 40 hours a week.
 

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Here in North Florida things are bad, especially construction and the trickle down people who depend on the trade. The unemployment rate is roughly double what you hear on the news. People like me in buisness that didnt pay in for my unemployment arent counted and many more too proud to claim benefits or working under the table. It wont last forever and this isnt the end, but things are bad enough for me to simplify and save all I can. I suspect this site has many members if not all that feel the same way.
 

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I have to echo what JDL964 about the Tampa Bay Area. I live in the South Tampa Area. Really South about mile North of Macdill AFB on the Interbay Pennisula. I have noticed that the Interbay Pennisula is holding better than the rest of the TB area. Mostly due to Older Houses, Military Members and surrounded by water. As you get further away in Riverview and Gib-Town I have see a bigger drop. I think where you are confined from building insulates the area some.

Downtown Project and the big Towers along the Westshore area have failed due to lack of buyers and many took a loss and walked. Hotels in Orlando are extremly cheap right now.

I also notice that the commissery and exchange on base has seen more traffic with people trying to save a nickel. No tax and small overhead not for profit.
 

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Down here in SW Arizona, well, things SUCK big time. 30%+ unemployment, construction has all but stopped. Many truck fleets are sitting idle, even the produce outfits are running at only 50% compared to last year. Lost of old time businesses have gone under, heck I'm joining the ranks May 1, and I'm the Manager! The county bus service, which relies on State funding, will probally stop running this summer because of no funding. Same with the State river park and the Yuma Territorial Prison Park, and the City says that while they would like to run them, they are facing a 20-30% drop in tax revenue, and the voters refuse to allow a tax increase to pay for them.
When the produce companies and Winter Visitors leave around May, this town will become a ghost town. The food banks are almost bare, the shelters are bursting at the seams, and the numbers of abandonded homes in my neighborhood has increased in the last 6 months, and the County is threatining to fine the banks becauce of of no upkeep on their seized properties. Very bad and getting worst down here.:(
 

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Around Minneapolis/St. Paul and sprawling environs in Minnesota, the situation looks like this:

  • A LOT of "for lease" signs (distant shell corporations own the properties -- priced out of reach?). And they've built WAY too many strip malls.
  • We've been exporting solid blue-collar manufacturing jobs for the past 30 years (3M, Whirlpool, Honeywell, etc.).
  • Bad housing bubble.
  • Almost 50% of the population reduced to owning no property whatsoever (and not even a mortgage toward it), renting in Minneapolis.
  • Potholes the worst I've seen in my 20+ years of driving.
  • Fairly high property taxes, declining services, tuition at public universities climbing by double-digits -- despite the fact that the university has enacted hiring and wage freezes. Seems the students are paying for it, and top management is collecting.

Me personally -- frequent pay freezes over the years, higher health costs and taxes, no promotional or management opportunities to speak of. No reason at all to buy a better home, new car, make any major financial commitment, etc. Wife can't get extra hours. We're in a holding pattern until we see SOME good news.
 
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