Brookings: Tampa Bay among hardest-hit metro areas in U.S.

Tampa Bay continues to have one of the weakest-performing economies in the country with its marks for housing particularly dismal, according to a study released Monday.

The analysis by the Brookings Institution compares the top 100 metros nationwide based on 16 measures.

The report doesn't give an overall ranking for metros. However, Tampa Bay ranked in the bottom 20 in most categories and in the bottom 20 overall.

Two categories related to housing stuck out, but not in a good way.

The region ranked worst in the country for quarterly change in the number of houses that were taken by banks. Its 3.7 percent drop in housing prices over the quarter was second-worst in the country.

Overall, the recovery of the country's metro areas has been "slow, uneven and inconsistent," Brookings' Metro Monitor report concluded. The economies suffering the most were tethered either to the auto industry or to the housing boom-and-bust.

Locales that suffered the least relied substantially on government, health care, education, or oil/gas. More than half of the metro areas had made a complete recovery of their prerecession economic output by December 2010.

"We're starting to see metro areas recover, but jobs are recovering at a glacial pace," said Howard Wial, a Brookings fellow and co-author of the report.

In 65 of the 100 largest metros, the unemployment rate was lower than a year ago. Tampa wasn't among them. Based on revised numbers released by state officials last week, Florida's unemployment rate hit a record 12 percent in December, and retracted slightly to 11.9 percent in January.

.Fast facts

No Florida cities make Top 20

Brookings Institution's Metro Monitor groups the economies of the 100 largest metro areas into top 20 and bottom 20, without giving an explicit 1-100 ranking.

Tampa Bay was one of five Florida metros included in the bottom 20, along with Cape Coral, Miami, North Port and Palm Bay. There were no Florida entries among the 20 strongest-performing metros, which included five cities from Texas. A sampling of best-performing metros: Albuquerque, N.M.; Dallas; Raleigh, N.C.; Pittsburgh; and Washington, D.C.

Brookings: Tampa Bay among hardest-hit metro areas in U.S. 03/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 10:19pm]

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