Geographic areas of continued distress, per an analysis from University of California, Berkeley, economist Danny Yagan

The post-recession recovery has been unusually sluggish and uneven across regional job markets, according to new research.

Wall Street Journal staffer Ben Leubsdorf taps into a sneak-peek at a new analysis from University of California, Berkeley, economist Danny Yagan that illuminates how selective recovery has been from a geographic and submarket standpoint. Leubsdorf explores academia's take on recessions and recoveries for insight into what may be playing out, noting that there's debate on what mode the current recovery is in. Yagan's paper looks at a few new considerations, Leubsdorf writes:

Underlying damage may be continuing to hold down employment in regions most affected in 2007. Based on the current trend, he wrote, employment rates won’t converge to their normal levels until sometime in the 2020s.

“It can be very easy to think that because something is getting better, we don’t have to worry about it,” Mr. Yagan said in an email. “But if it’s getting better really slowly, the losses add up. “

This is important because new housing (residential investment), which is a multiplier effect economic factor, is still under par in many regions that continue to lag signs of recovery. If housing were to start normalizing, the recovery trajectory might be more pronounced, across the board.

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