Saturday, December 13, 2008

Best cities for recessions

BusinessWeek highlights the best cities in which to ride out a recession; the click-through list is here. Generally, cities with strong ties to government, education and health care (though the latter 2 are generally a function of the first) probably won't be hit as hard as those with closer ties to, say, manufacturing or financial markets.

I know West Virginia, as a whole, is fairing relatively well-- a combination of well-run banks (thumbs up) and close ties to the public sector (thumbs down). Pittsburgh is the closest town mentioned in the article; they would fall under the health care category.


Justin M Ross said...

It will be interesting to see what happens in cities dominated by health care in the future as we get passed the baby boomer generation. Will they be similar to the Midwest manufacturing cities today?

Matt E. Ryan said...

It's an interesting comparison, though the degree to which the public sector supports manufacturing is decidedly less-- or to put it another way, as a percentage of net receipts, manufacturing lags behind by a large amount. I don't think the contractionary period would be as severe.

Also-- you can't outsource health care-- not in the same manner as manufacturing, anyway. I don't see health care facilities being able to provide a high percentage of service from a cheaper, foreign locale. The sick people are still physically here in the has made some amazing strides in terms of doctors not having to be present, but there's still something about talking to a professional face to face.

And, yes, the baby boomers are an outlier of a cohort, of sorts, but it's not like there will be an elimination of demand behind them.

Interesting question, though...that's paper worthy.