Economic growth uneven across U.S. counties

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:26pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 13 (Reuters) - Economic growth was uneven across the United States last year, with the National Association of Counties reporting on Monday that some local economies erased job and output losses caused by the 2007-2009 recession in 2013 but others continued to struggle.

Altogether, counties' economic output grew 2.3 percent in 2013 from 2012 and jobs increased 1.7 percent. The average of counties' median home sales prices increased 11.2 percent, the association found in a report on 3,069 counties.

"The recession and recovery affected county economies of all sizes, but disparities remain across the country, reflecting differences in the severity of the recession, length of the recovery and industrial structure," it said.

"Economic output and the housing market had better recovery rates across county economies by 2013, but jobs and unemployment were struggling to return in the majority of county economies," it also found.

About half of the counties' economies were no longer in recession or had recovered output lost during the recession by 2013. The South had the most counties with no declines or in recovery, 44 percent of the total.

Large counties such as Los Angeles that were hit especially hard by the housing downturn and recession registered the most output growth in 2013, according to the association.

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