Houston Matters

The Perfect Indicator for Houston These Days: The ‘Economic Anxiety Index’

Last week, the folks at Marketplace launched a new indicator called the “Economic Anxiety Index.” It’s designed to offer a snapshot of how Americans are experiencing the economy – how they feel about their personal finances and how confident they are about their ability to address any societal economic ups and downs. An economic index […]

Last week, the folks at Marketplace launched a new indicator called the "Economic Anxiety Index." It's designed to offer a snapshot of how Americans are experiencing the economy – how they feel about their personal finances and how confident they are about their ability to address any societal economic ups and downs.

An economic index examining our anxiety probably could not come at a better time for Houstonians. We're just about the only city in America where folks wring their hands when gas prices fall because of its implications on the oil and gas industry. And the many layoffs announced amid plummeting oil prices during the last year and a half have not gone unnoticed here. But, as we constantly remind ourselves, our economy is more diversified than it was during the oil bust of the 1980s, and so able to withstand slumping oil prices. Then again, how much more diversified? I can feel the anxiety index rising as we speak.

To discuss the purpose of this new index, and how it might help us here in Houston, we talk with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal.

MORE: How Do You Turn a Radio Program About Economics into a Live Stage Show? (Houston Matters, Sept. 25, 2014)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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