In the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the economic recovery had two faces as of the third quarter of 2010 (ending in September). The optimistic face showed continuing growth in economic output and widespread increases in house prices (in contrast to declines earlier in the year). The pessimistic face showed a sharp reversal of the job growth that was occurring earlier in the year, widespread losses of manufacturing jobs (in contrast to earlier gains), continued high unemployment rates in most metropolitan areas, and an increase in foreclosures in virtually all metropolitan areas.
Both faces showed considerable variation in economic outcomes among the 100 metropolitan areas. Overall, the data show that most major metropolitan economies are stuck in neutral, with no clear indication of any forward movement in the near future.
The metropolitan areas whose economies have suffered the most since the start of the Great Recession are those that experienced a large house price boom and bust or that depend heavily on auto or auto parts manufacturing. Those whose economies have suffered the least rely substantially on government, health care, education, and oil and gas, or are located in the Great Plains. The following map shows how the 100 largest metropolitan areas rank on a combination of four economic indicators: percent job change from the peak quarter to the third quarter of 2010, change in the unemployment rate from September 2007 to June 2010, percent change in economic output (gross metropolitan product) from the peak quarter to the third quarter of 2010, and percent change in an index of house prices from the peak quarter to the third quarter of 2010.
Only 25 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas had any job growth in the third quarter of 2010, down from 87 in the second quarter. The number of metropolitan areas experiencing quarterly job growth rose steadily from 24 in the last quarter of 2009 to 39 in the first quarter of 2010 to 87 in the second quarter of 2010 before plummeting to 25 in the third quarter. Similarly, in the 100 largest metropolitan areas combined, quarterly job losses steadily diminished over the course of the last year and were replaced by 0.5 percent job growth in the second quarter of 2010 but this growth gave way to a job loss of 0.3 percent in the third quarter.
Only fifteen large metropolitan areas had at least three quarters of consecutive job growth during the last year. Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oklahoma City, Virginia Beach, and Washington had job growth in every quarter of 2010. Chattanooga, Dallas, Honolulu, Jackson, McAllen, Raleigh, Phoenix had job growth in the last quarter of 2009 and the first two quarters of 2010, but had job declines in the third quarter of 2010. Augusta, Austin, and Charleston had job growth throughout 2010 and in the last quarter of 2009.
Eighty of the 100 largest metropolitan areas lost a greater share of jobs 11 quarters after the start of the Great Recession (the fourth quarter of 2007) than they did during the first 11 quarters after the start of any of the previous three national recessions. Eleven quarters after the start of the national recession, the 100 largest metropolitan areas combined had lost 6.3 percent of the jobs they had at the start of the Great Recession that began in 2007, compared to 1.9 percent for the 2001 recession, and 0.4 percent for the 1990–1991 recession. However, in the 1981–1982 recession, employment in the 100 largest metropolitan areas had grown by 4.0 percent in the first 11 quarters after the start of the national recession. In general, the metropolitan areas that ranked lowest on the Monitor’s overall index (i.e., those that suffered most during the Great Recession and subsequent recovery) were also ones in which the jobs recovery was weaker after the Great Recession than after all three previous recessions.
Employment rebounded from its low point in 67 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas by the third quarter of 2010, but only four gained back more than half the jobs they lost between their employment peak and their post-recession employment low point, and none made a complete jobs recovery. Only 10 metropolitan areas (Augusta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, McAllen, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Washington) regained more than a quarter of the jobs they had lost between their prerecession high and their post-recession low. Only Austin, McAllen, New Orleans, and Washington regained more than half the jobs they lost. While no large metropolitan area had made a complete jobs recovery by the third quarter, the number of jobs in Austin, McAllen, and Washington was less than 1 percent below its prerecession peak.
In September 2010, the unemployment rate was lower than it was a year ago in 55 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. These 55 metropolitan areas include most of the major metropolitan areas in the Great Lakes a few of the areas that experienced a housing boom and bust, including San Jose, Cape Coral, and Phoenix. However, all of the 100 largest metropolitan areas had higher unemployment rates in September 2010 than in September 2007.
Eighty-seven of the 100 largest metropolitan areas had growth in output in the third quarter of 2010, and the rate of output growth accelerated since the second quarter of the year in 66 metropolitan areas. All but 13 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas (all except Baltimore, Charleston, Dayton, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Ogden, Oklahoma City, Palm Bay, Poughkeepsie, Tucson, Virginia Beach, and Washington) had an increase in output in the third quarter. This is an improvement from the previous quarter, when 76 large metropolitan areas saw output growth, but falls short of performance in the first quarter of the year, when output grew in all 100 areas. In all 100 areas combined, the rate of output growth rose from 0.4 percent in the second quarter to 0.8 percent in the third quarter, but the third quarter growth rate fell short of the first quarter’s 1.1 percent growth rate.
A minority of large metropolitan areas had made a complete output recovery by the third quarter of 2010. Thirty-six large metropolitan areas had recovered their pre-recession levels of output by the third quarter. All these metropolitan areas had output growth in the first and second quarters of 2010 and all but eight had output growth in each quarter in the third quarter of this year.
Manufacturing, an engine of job and output growth earlier this year, shed 0.4 percent of its jobs in the third quarter of 2010 in the 100 largest metropolitan areas combined. In contrast to the second quarter, when 65 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas saw growth in manufacturing jobs, only 32 large metropolitan areas had manufacturing job growth in the third quarter. The loss of manufacturing jobs in the third quarter was especially widespread in the Great Lakes region, where only eight of 21 large metropolitan areas (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Louis, Toledo, and Milwaukee) had manufacturing job growth. In contrast, 19 of the 21 major metropolitan areas of the Great Lakes region (all except Buffalo and Columbus) had increases in their manufacturing job bases in the second quarter of this year.
House prices rose in the third quarter of 2010 in 80 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Prices also rose by 0.6 percent in the 100 largest metropolitan areas taken as a whole, following three quarters of decline. The 20 metropolitan areas in which house prices fell during the third quarter (Albuquerque, Austin, Bakersfield, Boise, Cape Coal, Columbia, Dallas, El Paso, Greenville, Houston, Las Vegas, Little Rock, McAllen, North Port, Palm Bay, Portland (OR), Raleigh, Richmond, Seattle, and Tucson) were mainly in the South and Southwest and included some places that had experienced a house price boom and bust and others that had not.
Foreclosures continued to rise in 98 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the third quarter of 2010. The largest increases in foreclosures (measured by the change in the number of real estate-owned properties between the second and third quarters) occurred in metropolitan areas that had experienced a house price boom and bust, in Seattle, and in Michigan. Only Portland (ME) and Scranton saw declines in the number of real estate-owned properties.
To read the full summary go to http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0615_metro_monitor.aspx