Why Economic Recovery Is Slower in the Mountain West

March 18 2010, 12:24 PM
In February, foreclosure filings for Colorado's largest counties rose seven percent compared with the year before. And the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline continues to receive calls at a record rate, reports the Fort Collins Coloradoan, in indicators that many people are still struggling after the economic downturn. States in the Mountain West---Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho---typically recover from recessions faster than the rest of the nation. However, the story is playing out differently this time around, according to the Brookings Institute. "The region is not delivering on the promise of a quicker, faster snapback," Mark Muro, a policy director at Brookings, tells The Denver Post. Regions with heavy exports, which don't play a large role in the regional economy, seem to be rebounding quicker. Also, small businesses in the Mountain West have had a harder time obtaining capital. One explanation could be that the recession hit the Mountain West later, meaning more time is needed for the recovery. For individuals seeking jobs, their own recovery may be stymied by the fact that about 50 percent of employers are now conducting credit checks to help weed through stacks of resumes. But many job seekers have a poor credit score because they have had no income and, beyond possible foreclosures, racked up credit card debt or were unable to pay it, notes 9News. "Oftentimes a result of a terrible economic time is we end up with terrible credit," says Kim McGrigg, Money Management International's spokesperson. And that's just one of the many concerns resulting from what The Atlantic refers to as a new "era of joblessness," which the magazine analyzes at length with mostly bleak, yet profound, conclusions.