One of the interesting parts of that Brookings feature Zubin linked to earlier is a detailed ranking of metro areas by economic performance. The results are mostly intuitive--the areas doing the best have a strong government presence (like Washington, DC), or major industries that are countercyclical (like education, which is why New Haven is doing well).*
As it happens, one of the other metro areas doing very well is McAllen, Texas--which, as you'll recall from this excellent New Yorker article, is the healthcare-cost capital of the United States. Which kind of proves both a liberal and conservative truth simultaneously. The liberal truth is that massively inefficient spending (as with healthcare in McAllen) can do a pretty good job of mitigating a recession. The conservative truth is that the same spending will eventually bankrupt the country (see that New Yorker article for what Medicare spends in McAllen).
*Some energy-producing areas also look strong, which makes sense amid rising oil prices even though energy isn't a traditionally countercyclical industry.