Report: Western states edging toward recovery

      LAS VEGAS (AP) - A new report says unemployment is down across six Western states and the region's housing market is no longer in a free fall in the latest signs that the West's economy is recovering.

      The report released Thursday was prepared by Brookings Mountain West researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It focused on 10 metropolitan areas spread across Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Idaho.

      The report says the region's housing market seems to have hitbottom.

      Leading the recovery were Ogden, Utah; Albuquerque, N.M.; Provo,Utah; and Phoenix.

      Boise, Idaho, and Las Vegas showed some signs of recovery, whileTucson, Ariz., and Colorado Springs, Colo., continued to struggle.

      Overall, the region saw a modest 0.3 percent growth inemployment this fall, compared with the national rate of 0.1percent.