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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM

In metro marathon, Seattle runs OK, but the leaders are in Asia and Latin America

The good, or at least neutral, news is that metropolitan areas accelerated their dominance of economic activity through the Great Recession. The bad news: Most of those winner metros were outside of the United States. A new study from the Brookings Institution and London School of Economics shows Seattle No. 50 among 150 world metro areas in economic performance. That compares with No. 60 during the recession and 79 before the roof fell in.

Such performance might seem middling. But consider: out of the top 30 performing metros during the most recent year, 29 were outside the United States and Europe. Of the 30 metros with the weakest performance in the recovery, 28 were in the U.S. or Europe. Austin (26), military-dependent Virginia Beach (36), Washington, D.C. (37), Dallas (39), Baltimore (42), Minneapolis (44), Detroit (46), Nashville (48) and Cleveland (49) came in above Seattle in 2009-2010. Portland ranked 102 and Vancouver, B.C. was 92.

The recovery leaders: Istanbul, Shenzhen, China, Lima. Singapore, Santiago and Shanghai. The metrics are limited: Employment and economic output per person, which would explain the better performance among some Rust Belt cities that saw massive out-migration. For example, Detroit ranked 147 out of 150 before the recession. It benefited heavily from the auto bailout and federal stimulus. Metros that performed well based on the housing boom are far worse off now. Las Vegas, for example, went from 14th before the Great Recession to 146th.

“This report confirms that the rise of China, India, Brazil, and other nations is fundamentally about the rise of their metropolitan areas,” Alan Berube, Senior Fellow and Research Director at the Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of the report, said in a statement. “Urbanization, in both established and emerging regions, is one of the most important factors in the restructuring of the global economy. Our analysis shows many Asian and Latin American metros have fully recovered from the global crisis, while U.S. and European metros are still struggling to regain their footing.”

Today’s Econ Haiku:

NOAA site for sale

As for redeveloping

Lost talent? Harder

Comments | More in Global economy, Great Recession, Great reset, International economy, Jobs/Unemployment

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