MOUNTAIN WEST LAGS: The eight-state Mountain West region has seen the biggest increase in unemployment of any region in the country in the past year, according to a Labor Department report Friday.
SLUMP DELAYED: The Great Recession came later to the region than the rest of the country, economists say, for a variety of reasons. Its housing slump lagged trouble spots like Florida, and its agriculture and mining industries were aided early in the recession by high commodity prices.
GAP NARROWING: The region's recovery also lags. Its unemployment is below the national average of 9.6 percent, but the gap is narrowing.