County unemployment rates reflect patterns established during the recession
During the 2007-09 recession, unemployment rates rose fastest in the West, South, South Atlantic, and parts of the Midwest. States most reliant on manufacturing?including Michigan, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and North Carolina?were hit especially hard. Many of the States with the smallest increases in unemployment were located in the Great Plains and had relatively high employment shares in agriculture, which was largely unaffected by the recession. Similarly, States in the West South Central region (which includes Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas) saw their unemployment rates held in check by growth in oil and gas drilling.