College Towns School the Recession

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009  |  Updated 3:45 PM EDT
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College Towns School the Recession

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The party continues at college towns.

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Not many places are safe from job losses these days. But the nation's college towns have fared better than most.

Of the six cities where the unemployment rate stood at four percent for Jan., three housed colleges or universities, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In contrast, the national unemployment rate for Jan. charted 8.5 percent. 

College towns like Gainesville, Fla., Ann Arbor Mich., Manhattan, Kan., and Boulder, Colo. made the list of places with the lowest unemployment rates, the Journal found.

West Virginia University, in Morgantown, W. Va.,  is currently hiring hundreds of workers.

When adults with college degrees increased a city's population by 10 percent, wages went up 7.8 percent., Harvard economics professor Edward Glasser told the Journal.  

"Apart from weather, human capital has been the best long-run predictor of urban success in the last century," Glasser said. 

To be sure, college towns might not weather the recession as well as in the past. School endowments have taken a beating and states are cutting funding to education, the Journal reported. The longer the recession lasts the more jobs could vanish.

But for now, it's not a bad idea to relocate near your alma mater. No finals this time -- or keg stands, either.

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