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Robert Trigaux

Florida metro areas dominate weak rankings in Brookings economic review



Tampajobfairmartharial09 Wake up and good morning. Well, the Brookings Institution's MetroMonitor, which tracks the economies of the 100 largest metro areas nationwide, certainly is unimpressed with what it sees in the Tampa Bay area, which ranked 91 of the 100. And for much of Florida. (Photo: Tampa job fair this year by Martha Rial, St. Petersburg Times.)

Based on a review of the first quarter's economic data, Brookings found Tampa Bay ranked among the 20 weakest-performing metro economies. Here are those 20 weakest. Note that of the 20, seven -- more than a third --  are in Florida:

Bradenton, FL; Modesto, CA; Cape Coral, FL; Oxnard, CA; Detroit, MI; Palm Bay, FL; Fresno, CA; Providence, RI-MA; Grand Rapids, MI; Riverside, CA; Jacksonville, FL; Sacramento, CA; Lakeland, FL; Stockton, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Tampa, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Toledo, OH; Miami, FL, and Youngstown, OH-PA.

And here are the 20 strongest-performing metro areas among the 100 largest. Note that five -- 25 percent -- are in Texas:

Albuquerque, NM; New Haven, CT; Austin, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Baton Rouge, LA; Omaha, NE-IA; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Des Moines, IA; Rochester, NY; El Paso, TX; San Antonio, TX; Harrisburg, PA; Tulsa, OK; Houston, TX; Virginia Beach, VA-NC; Little Rock, AR; Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV; McAllen, TX, and Wichita, KS.

Says Brookings:

"Beneath the constant drumbeat of headline numbers emanating from Washington on U.S. jobs, national unemployment, GDP, and home prices lies a complex, diverse set of 366 metropolitan economies. While no metro area has been immune from the current economic downturn, the pain is unevenly distributed. Some have felt only modest effects, and a few show early signs of recovery, while others are undergoing a wrenching restructuring that may fundamentally alter their economic trajectory."

The study is revealing. Take a look.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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