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Consider This With Fred Fiske: Jobs

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Do you feel lucky? Well if you're living the Washington area, you ought to. Look at the problems Americans have been wrestling with in the past several years. It's evident that most of them have been financial and economic. The most difficult problem has been jobs.

Throughout the country, especially in those areas where employment has been dependent on manufacturing, jobless rates have been high, with some scant improvement recently in particular areas. Washington's unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation. And there's actually been improvement in the past year, as the government has added workers to fight the recession, to help the automotive industry, and to regular the financial services industry.

Government employment is the backbone of our economy here. And the presence in Washington of many high-tech and bio-science companies has added jobs and income too.

An interesting statistic is found in the Standard & Poor/Case Shiller Index of Prices. While property values in 20 large cities dropped 3 percent during the downturn, those in the Washington area actually rose 3.6 percent.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't for a moment think that we're living in a Utopia. There are still neighborhoods in Washington with high unemployment rates and poor residence. We have problems with our schools. And many of us are frustrated and disappointed that D.C. still doesn’t have national vote, but if we recognize that the most difficult problem we face as a nation are economic, we should be grateful to be living the Washington area.

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