Muni Commentary

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Geo Scores for October 2017

Posted by Gregg Bienstock on Nov 6, 2017 4:38:00 PM

 This week we bring you the October 2017 DIVER Geo Scores. In addition to presenting the locations with the greatest moves year on year, we also present the top and bottom Geo Scores for States, counties and cities for October. This is a follow-on from the new format presented last month which  was positively received.

 DIVER Geo Scores are designed to quickly communicate the overall economic health of a selected geographic area on a scale of 0 to 10. The Geo Score reflects the relative economic well-being of the location and is available for all States, counties, and approximately 350 of the largest cities. Calculations are released monthly and are based on multiple, meaningful economic and demographic data from the employment, income and housing categories.Top/Bottom Movers at the State Level

The tables below highlight the States with the most meaningful moves (positive and negative) year on year. The employment picture for these States was positive, with all seeing growing labor forces and all but Utah seeing declining unemployment (that’s two months running for Utah – something to keep an eye on). All States in our top ten also saw an improving housing picture with declining foreclosure rates.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

For bottom movers at the State level, the underlying data was a mixed bag, with some good news. Eight of ten saw flat or improving labor force participation rates and six of ten States saw a decline in their unemployment rates. There is some concern in the Northeast and the Amtrak corridor – DC, Delaware, NJ and NY.

Top and Bottom State Geo Scores for October 2017

Below are the October 2017 Geo Scores (all can also be found on our website). Aside from some shuffling amongst the bottom ten, Illinois dropped out of this group and North Carolina moved in.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

County Level Geo Scores

At the county level, the data was positive, with all our top movers seeing a decline in their unemployment rate and all but Rolette, ND and Trousdale, TN, seeing an increase in their labor force participation rate. Similarly, this group saw a decline in the foreclosure rate with only Reynolds, MO seeing a slight uptick.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

Among counties with the greatest decline in their Geo Score over the past year, all but Aransas, TX saw flat to increasing foreclosure data whereas the employment data, similar to the States, was a mixed bag, with seven of ten of the top movers seeing their labor force participation rates decline. Six of ten saw their unemployment rates rise with Aransas, TX and Cottonwood, MN showing spikes of 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

Top and Bottom County Geo Scores for October 2017 – Below are the high and low Geo Scores for October 2017 (more can be found on our website). All are “10” or “0” so the ordering is not indicative of relative rank. ND continues to dominate on the positive side.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

City Level Geo Scores

All cities in the positive mover category saw improved unemployment rates and improved labor force participation. Additionally, all saw declining foreclosure activity.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

For cities with the greatest declines, the unemployment data provided to be very mixed, while the labor force participation rate declined in all but Washington, D.C. (although their unemployment rate was up 0.5%).  All of these cities, except for Beaumont, TX, saw an increase in their foreclosure rate.

Top and Bottom City Geo Scores for October 2017

Below are the Geo Scores for October 2017 (more can be found on our website). Note the CA concentration on the green side and the MI, OH, IN concentration on the red side.

 

Source: DIVER Data Solutions

 

A special thanks to Jane Ma and Julie Wen for their always outstanding effort in pulling together our Geo Scores each month.

Have a great week.

Gregg Bienstock

 

 

 

Topics: Geo Scores: The Changing Economic Health of US Mun, Commentary