The 20 Best-Performing Cities In America

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The recovery is real—at least in some cities.We evaluated cities using indicators in the fourth quarter MetroMonitor from the Brookings Institute. Austin, Texas emerges as the best, with employment up 0.9 per cent from pre-recession peak, gross metro product up 8.3 per cent from pre-recession peak and home prices down 9.7 per cent from peak.

Energy centres and cities that avoided the initial housing bubble fill out the rest of the list.

#20 McAllen, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 11.2%
  • Employment up 4.1% from pre-recession peak
  • Gross metro product up 7.5% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 14.1% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#19 El Paso, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 9.3%
  • Employment up 2.1% from pre-recession peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.9% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 14.1% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#18 Louisville, Kentucky

  • Unemployment rate of 8.7%
  • Employment down 2.8% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.9% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 13.1% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#16 Syracuse, New York

  • Unemployment rate of 8.0%
  • Employment down 2.9% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.9% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 10.2% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#16 Boston, Massachusetts

  • Unemployment rate of 5.8%
  • Employment down 1.5% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 5.7% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 25.4% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#15 Hartford, Connecticut

  • Unemployment rate of 7.5%
  • Employment down 1.0% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 8.0% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 20.7% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#14 Albany, New York

  • Unemployment rate of 6.9%
  • Employment down 4.0% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 6.9% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 12.4% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#13 Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Unemployment rate of 6.5%
  • Employment down 2.8% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 3.0% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 10.5% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#12 Nashville, Tennessee

  • Unemployment rate of 6.9%
  • Employment down 2.8% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 7.0% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 14.9% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#11 Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Unemployment rate of 6.4%
  • Employment down 2.6% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.6% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 13.7% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#10 Dallas, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 7.1%
  • Employment down 1.6% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 7.8% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 11.9% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#9 San Antonio, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 6.8%
  • Employment down 0.5% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.7% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 11.1% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#8 Omaha, Nebraska

  • Unemployment rate of 4.7%
  • Employment down 1.2% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.5% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 14.7% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#7 Houston, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 7.3%
  • Employment up 0.7% from pre-recession peak
  • Gross metro product up 7.3% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 10.2% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#6 Oklahoma City

  • Unemployment rate of 5.6%
  • Employment down 0.4% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 2.2% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 9.2% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#5 Madison, Wisconsin

  • Unemployment rate of 4.7%
  • Employment down 1.2% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 5.3% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 16.1% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#4 Rochester, New York

  • Unemployment rate of 7.3%
  • Employment down 0.6% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.8% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 8.9% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#3 Buffalo, New York

  • Unemployment rate of 7.9%
  • Employment down 2.4% from peak
  • Gross metro product up 8.2% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 7.6% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#2 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Unemployment rate of 6.6%
  • Employment up 0.4% from pre-recession peak
  • Gross metro product up 4.6% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 6.7% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

#1 Austin, Texas

  • Unemployment rate of 6.3%
  • Employment up 0.9% from pre-recession peak
  • Gross metro product up 8.3% from pre-recession peak
  • Home prices down 9.7% from peak

Fourth quarter data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor.

For real growth you should look abroad

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