Another Top-10 List — Best Recession Recovery Cities

While the recession officially ended in June of 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, many cities are still struggling to get back to normal, so-to-speak. Yet other cities are enjoying the best economies ever with record home values, incomes and employment levels.

To analyze where the recession has been left furthest behind, NerdWallet analyzed employment data, incomes and home values for the largest 510 U.S. cities. Specifically, they examined from 2009 through 2012:

  • median home value changes
  • change in median household income
  • percentage change in the unemployment rate of the civilian labor force

From these data they created an index score and ranked the 510 largest cities.

And the cities with the best recovery since the recession? Eight of the 10 are in Texas. Each of the top-10 have seen double-digit plus percentage increases in household income levels, and six of the 10 saw double digit increase in median home values from 2009 to 2012.

6-28-14 graph

While NerdWallet included unemployment rate changes in their analysis, these data were intentionally omitted from the table above (but not from the overall score) as I believe this is one of the most bogus statistics relating to economic conditions. First it ignores all the people that had jobs, lost them and became officially unemployed, then were reclassified as no longer in the workforce and hence are no longer officially unemployed. It also omits those individuals that have part time jobs and yet desire full-time employment.

Want to see how your city ranked out of the 510 plus all of the underlying data? Simply click To read NerdWallet’s report click

As with any index, the outcome will be a function of the data included. As already stated, I disagree with using unemployment rates.

Some of the top cities are growing due to oil and gas activities, while other factors impact many markets.

That said, still a pretty interesting study.


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