Follow us:

Jon Talton

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

March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Not so fast on the Seattle economy triumphalism…

Seattle’s skyline is growing, cranes are nesting, and the jobs situation here is much better than in the rest of the state. But by one widely watched barometer, the metropolitan area is only doing so-so. The Brookings Institution has been monitoring the 100 largest metros to see how they have bounced back from the recession in jobs, unemployment, gross domestic product, and housing prices. It ranks them by looking at where they stand in the most recent quarter compared with their pre-crash peak. And Seattle is…34th in employment, 42nd in unemployment, 71st in housing prices and 17th in output as measured by GDP.

In other words, jobs in the most recent quarter are still down 1.6 percent compared with the peak in the third quarter of 2008. Unemployment is 3 points higher than its best showing in the the second quarter of 2007. Housing prices peaked in the second quarter of 2007 — most recently, they were still off 32.6 percent. GDP is up 4.9 percent vs. the second quarter of 2008. This “most improved” measure is limited but still useful. Seattle’s overall performance still bettered its showing in the third quarter of last year, when it stood at 47th.

Metro Portland shows the limits of this metric: It came in 16th overall, but almost entirely because of a big boost in GDP. Austin was No. 1 in the list.

And Don’t Miss: ‘Trickle-down consumption’ — How rising inequality can leave everyone worse off | Washington Post

Today’s Econ Haiku:

If you bought stocks, yay!

Most are back from the crisis.

Did we take stock? No.

 

 

Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►