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Recent economic reports point to a national economic recovery that is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. The unemployment rate continues to edge down, housing prices are recovering, and GDP growth has been relatively strong. That modest aggregate progress belied tremendous variation in the rate of recovery across the nation's major metropolitan economies through the third quarter of 2012.

This edition of the Metro Monitor finds that from July to September of this year, employment growth across the 100 largest U.S. metro areas remained steady, but was slower than during the relatively strong months of January to March. Meanwhile growth in output accelerated across the 100 largest metro areas, matching the rate from the first quarter. Unemployment rates continued to fall in more than half (65) of all large metropolitan areas, but remained above 6 percent in all but 14 of these places. Home prices reversed course in most large metro areas, posting gains after two consecutive quarters of losses that had carried most places to new lows.

Regionally, however, progress was much more varied. The overall pace of economic recovery was strong in a handful of areas including Texas, where the recession was less severe and oil and gas have boomed; in western Florida and parts of California and the Intermountain West where the housing and labor markets are rebounding; in some Midwestern manufacturing centers like Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Toledo; and in the Pacific Northwest. By contrast, the recovery has proceeded more slowly in the Northeast where many metro areas had relatively minor recessions when compared with faster-recovering markets. As a result, they are closer to pre-recession levels of jobs, output, and home prices than many harder hit places.

  • Unemployment decreased by 5.2 percentage points since the third quarter of 2009, the second-largest reduction nationally in percentage terms. 
  • Employment growth ranks 17th overall, rising 5 percent since the third quarter of 2009. 
  • Economic output growth ranks 20th, rising 9.6 percent since the third quarter of 2009. 
  • Housing prices rose 1.9 percent since the second quarter of 2012, 23rd best in the U.S.
Click HERE to read the full article with fun charts and graphs to really drive the point home :)! 

Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Sunday, October 14, 2012 – Monday, January 21, 2013

Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fabergé: The Rise and Fall features more than 200 precious objects from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, home of the largest collection of Fabergé in the United States. The show traces Karl Fabergé’s rise to fame, highlighting his business savvy, artistic innovations, and privileged relationship with the Russian aristocracy. Despite the firm's abrupt end in 1918, the legacy and name of Fabergé continues to hold a place in popular culture.

Click HERE to reserve your tickets! 
Having moved across the world before settling in New York, Shel Kimen returned to Detroit - where her father and grandfather worked in the motor industry

An ambitious plan to transform a derelict railway yard in Detroit into a boutique 36 room hotel using old shipping containers is close to being realised.

The $4 million project is planned for a part of the Dequindre Cut, an old rail line in the decaying city that was has already been renovated into a bike and walking path.

The ambitious plan to regenerate a large swathe of the city whose descent has signified America's industrial decline has attracted the attention of the City of Detroit who are keen to see any type of urban investment.

The firm behind the project, Collision Works wants to create the 16,000 square-foot hotel near Division Street in the Michigan city to have 3,000 square feet of event space and a large outdoor courtyard.

'It's a boutique hotel and community work space built around storytelling,' said Shel Kimen, founder & CEO of Collision Works, who left New York City to help transform a decrepit part of Detroit.

It's a place to let people tell their stories and to give these stories a home. The idea is when people of different perspectives and backgrounds come together interesting things happen.'

Wanting to create a meeting space in addition to the hotel, the hotel will also have a communal working space that will be big enough to accommodate between 15-20 people.

'I came here because this city is perfect for me,' said Kimen.

'I can't think of a city that's more exciting -- so many people who are trying different things. It's the art. It's the freedom and the space. It's that there's something different happening.'

Kimen has traveled the world working in Chicago, San Francisco, London, Portland and New York, including stints at Saatchi and Saatchi.

'I believe business has a responsibility to contribute to the community -- that products have to be meaningful and valuable,' she said.

'One day I realized, I'm an entrepreneur and what am I going to invent?'

Click HERE to read the full article!