From The Associated Press, reporting its monthly analysis of conditions around the country.
Even as the national unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent in September, New England states benefited from more hiring. Except for Rhode Island (Stress score: 12.08), New England has been recovering from the recession better than much of the nation.
The region has an educated work force in professional and high-tech jobs, it avoided the real estate boom and bust and it’s home to a high-end manufacturing sector. Manufacturers in New England export electronic parts and biomedical products to developing nations like China, India and Brazil, said Ross Gittell, an economist at the University of New Hampshire.
“New England is outperforming the rest of the country in many respects,” Gittell said.
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, “Free Trade Sweeps The Heartland“:
Elections: Among the biggest but least-noticed winners in last week’s election were free-trade supporters in, of all places, the industrial Midwest. And here we thought free trade was an electoral loser.
One of the sweetest victories for free-trade proponents was Ohio’s election of Republican Rob Portman to the U.S. Senate. Portman served as U.S. Trade Representative under President Bush from 2005 to 2006. During his short tenure, six of America’s 17 free-trade pacts were passed. Portman also valiantly tried to get the U.S. onboard for a global free-trade pact at Doha.
Organized labor hammered candidates all across the nation for supporting trade, IBD notes, and yet pro-trade Senate candidates Ron Kirk in Illinois and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania won. The editorial concludes: “After four years of Democrat-led protectionism, unemployment in states like Ohio nears 10%. The incoming free-traders signal that it’s time Washington gave free trade a chance.”