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.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
If you bought stocks, yay!
Most are back from the crisis.
Did we take stock? No.