Recession Nation: No State Spared

Not one state economy is expanding anymore, not even oil-rich Alaska.

ByABC News
October 20, 2008, 6:22 PM

Dec. 15, 2008— -- All 50 states are now in a recession or at risk of falling into one, according to recent data from Moody's, an economic research service.

As recently as September, one state -- Alaska -- had managed to remain immune from the economic slump that has ravaged much of the country. At the time, the oil-rich state was considered to have an expanding economy.

Now, Alaska is considered to be at risk for a recession, thanks in part to dropping oil prices -- crude oil traded below $41 a barrel earlier this month, a four-year low -- as well as the ailing world economy.

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"Alaska moving from 'expansion' to 'at risk' reflects the deteriorating national as well as global economic pictures," Andrew Gledhill, an economist at Moody's, said in an e-mail to ABC News. "Few areas are immune to these eroding conditions."

Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced last week that the state's next budget would be reduced from the current fiscal year.

Across the country, both states and cities have been slashing their budgets, with cuts affecting police and fire departments, education and transportation.

Overall, 33 states are now in a recession, while 17 are at risk for one, according to Moody's. The District of Columbia, with its government and government-related jobs, still has an expanding economy.

Most recent additions to the recession list are Louisiana, New York and Vermont.

Like Alaska, Louisiana was hurt by the plunge in oil prices. The state is the country's second-largest producer of oil.

In Vermont, hard-hit manufacturers, including computer and electronic equipment producers, helped lead the state into recession while New York has succumbed to the turmoil in the financial industry, with some 20,000 New York financial services jobs lost between mid-2007 and October, Gledhill said.

Back in March, only five states were in recession: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.