Cities recover slowly from recession, report says
Jobs remain scarce in the nation’s large cities despite slow but continuing economic growth, according to a report from the Washington-based Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program. The MetroMonitor report for June includes extensive information on the economies of the top 100 major metropolitan areas.
All major metropolitan economies saw some economic growth in the first quarter of 2010, according to the MetroMonitor, and some returned to their pre-recession levels of output, but none recovered its pre-recession employment level. Most continued to lose jobs and experience high unemployment rates. In most, the recession was more severe and the subsequent recovery weaker than in any recession since at least 1981, but in a few the recession was less severe and the recovery more robust than in two of the previous three recessions.
Other findings in the report include:
• All of the 100 largest metropolitan areas had growth in output in the first quarter of 2010, but the rate of output growth declined in 90 metropolitan areas. The number of metropolitan areas that had a quarter-to-quarter gain in output rose from 33 in the second quarter of 2009 to 87 in the third quarter, 98 in the final quarter of 2009, and 100 in the first quarter of 2010.
• Employment recovery has been much less widespread and less consistent than output recovery. The number of metropolitan areas that had quarter-to-quarter employment growth rose from six in the third quarter of 2009 to 25 in the last quarter of 2009 to 36 in the first quarter of 2010. Job growth in one quarter was no guarantee of continued job growth in subsequent quarters. Of the 25 metropolitan areas that gained jobs in the last quarter of 2009, only 10 gained jobs in the first quarter of 2010.
• The metropolitan areas that have had the most consistent job growth over the past year are mainly in the South.
• A substantial minority of metropolitan areas made a complete output recovery by the first quarter of 2010, but none made a complete jobs recovery. Thirty-two metropolitan areas recovered their pre-recession levels of output in the fourth quarter, including 19 that had continuous output growth since at least the second quarter of 2009. Most of those metropolitan areas are state capitals or other government or military centers.
Download the entire MetroMonitor for June.