With thousands of textile and furniture jobs going overseas, one might think the Southern economy was going down the tubes. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (search) the South has the lowest unemployment rate in the country — 5.0 compared to the national average of 5.6.
While the mill and factory closings are very real, the region manages to create more jobs than it loses. During the last recession when the United States lost nearly 2 million jobs, non-farm employment in the South actually grew.
Analysts say the relatively low cost of living, right-to-work laws and active recruitment by state governments have helped lure foreign investment to the region; a Chinese appliance maker even opened a refrigerator plant in Camden, S.C.
And as transportation and communications improve, many American entrepreneurs are choosing to move or set up shop in the South, lured by the moderate climate and the quality of life.
Author and Southern entrepreneur Joe Hollingsworth (search) said the leadership culture stems from region's old rural traditions — if you break something you fix it, and if you lose jobs, well, you make new ones.
Go to the video box above to watch a report by FOX News' Jonathan Serrie.