Tracking Metro Area Economic Performance

The Brookings Institution has issued the second in what is intended to be a series of quarterly evaluations tracking economic recession and recovery in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Brookings’ MetroMonitor for the second quarter of this year is a 21-page report which examines employment, unemployment, output, home prices and foreclosure rates for each of the nation’s major metropolitan areas, including that of Wichita and its surrounding area.

Wichita ranks in the middle twenty of the one hundred metropolitan areas in terms of overall performance during the recession, neither among the best nor among the worst. Despite a significant moderation of the rate of decline in the second quarter for the nation as a whole, however, Wichita, which had ranked among the 20 strongest metro areas in employment (at 20th), was among the twenty weakest in terms of percent change in employment from the first to the second quarters, losing jobs at a faster rate than previously. Although weakening, Wichita continued to rank among the second strongest cohort of metropolitan areas for unemployment rate through June.

Despite such relatively positive employment numbers, Wichita’s performance in Gross Metropolitan Product, a measure of area output, was much less hopeful, with a ranking of 91st with a 7.5% decline from the peak quarter through June, and 94th with a further decline of 1.2% by the end of the second quarter.

In sharp contrast, Wichita was the second best of all 100 metro areas for housing prices, trailing only Houston, with a positive change in the housing price index of 4.2%. For all areas as whole, prices fell by 4.4%.

For a summary of Wichita metro area numbers only, check here. For a number of interactive maps of all the metropolitan areas, check here.

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

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