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Bumping Along the Economic Bottom

Patchwork Nation’s Hardship Index a short-term barometer of how communities are faring each month rose in July, indicating that the country’s not out of the downturn quite yet.

The economic index combines foreclosures, unemployment and gas prices to measure the relative economic pain of Patchwork Nation’s different community types. 

This month’s index, unlike last month’s positive outlook, revealed that unemployment and foreclosures are both on the rise and gas prices, while relatively low compared to last summer, spiked in June.

“I do think we’ll be bumping along the bottom for a while in the economy. I just don’t see any hopeful signs that we’re going to break out of this anytime soon,” Project Director Dante Chinni said.

Listen to Chinni’s full interview:

“Foreclosures were up in almost every one of the 12 community types, except in the Emptying Nests (where) it was flat. Unemployment was up in every one except for Service Worker Centers where it was essentially flat.”

The small-town Service Worker Centers still have highest hardship scores while Tractor Country communities, places whose economies are driven by agriculture, have the lowest.

Read Chinni’s full post Bumping along the economic bottom on the Christian Science Monitor’s Patchwork Nation site.

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