RECESSION LIVING

How's Your City Faring?

Recession-hit Americans looking for a job might do well to remember the Alamo. San Antonio, that is, which is the best-off city in the country when it comes to weathering the economic downturn. A new study by the Brookings Institution crunched the numbers on the top 100 metropolitan areas in order to gain new insight on the effects of the recession on employment, wages, housing prices, foreclosure rates, and production. While no city has survived unscathed, five of the top 10 healthiest economies are in Texas and another two are in nearby Oklahoma, powered by strong government and health care sectors that are less affected by the recession. Manufacturing-based economies are among the worst off, with the Rust Belt suffering major job losses. Nowhere is this more evident than in Detroit, the bottom ranked city on the list thanks to the auto industry's moribund state. Cities in California and Florida, which have been hit hard by the housing collapse, are also in bad shape, comprising 7 of the bottom 10 metropolitan areas.