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Full Story: Slow Road to Recovery

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POSTED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 4:42pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 6:46pm

EL PASO - If you're having a hard time making ends meet, or perhaps even finding a job, you're not alone. For a while there it looked like the economy was getting better, but looks can be deceiving.

Banks crashed, the Stock Market went down and people lost jobs left and right. Although El Paso has maintained a decent economy in this recession, there are still people out there facing hard times. That's no surprise to local economist Tom Fullerton.

"What we're observing now is reminiscent, although not as severe, it's reminiscent of what was observed in the 1930's when the economy started to recover but double digit rates of unemployment persisted for many years," he said.

The President has been working to fix the economy, and recently it looked like things were getting better but Fullerton says it may have just been an illusion.

"Different areas of the economy looked like they were bouncing back, but that was a by-product of some of the stimulus packages," he said.

As the government struggles to bail us out of the recession, families struggle to put food on the table, but when compared to the rest of the country, El Paso is still doing pretty good. Fullerton says that's thanks to the expansion at Fort Bliss, UTEP's strong enrollment, and even business prospects in Juarez.

"All these areas are providing shots in the arm to the local economy," he said.

Those shots to the local economic arm have had a direct effect on our housing market.

"The housing sector here, the residential real estate, has fared much better locally than it has elsewhere, and that should allow the economy here locally to recover more quickly than will be the case elsewhere in the country," he said.

Fullerton says it could take another couple of years, if not longer, until the recession is truly over.

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