Recession: Cities with Jobs, Economic Growth

The economic news isn't universally doom and gloom. The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to rank the metropolitan areas gaining momentum with high pay and sustained economic growth.

Friday’s downward revision of GDP, combined with news that individual Americans saw their personal income shrink 1.8 percent in 2009, has renewed an economic panic nationwide.

Gallery: 20 Recession-Proof Cities

But take heart—not every corner of the country is suffering. The Daily Beast set out to determine which cities are riding out the Great Recession, and identified 20 metropolitan areas, from North Carolina to Washington to Louisiana, that since 2007 have shown positive growth across three economic categories: their overall employment, per capita personal income, and metropolitan area GDP. Employment data come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; personal income and metropolitan area GDP are from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each city was ranked individually within each category, then these rankings were combined to determine the final order. Employment and personal income were weighted at 45 percent, and GDP was weighted at 10 percent.

These 20 cities, furthermore, have a per capita personal income—adjusted by second quarter 2010 ACCRA Cost of Living Index—that falls above the nation’s end-of-2009 per capita personal income of $36,225. So before gaining momentum, they were already ahead of the pack.