The recession in the U.S. caused by the financial crisis officially ended in the second half of 2009, a solid six years ago now, but many cities across the country are still suffering the lingering aftereffects of the Great Recession. In fact, a recent report from economic research firm WalletHub points out that quite a few U.S. cities in various regions have been left behind in the economic recovery being enjoyed by the rest of the country.
The report highlights that 14 municipalities, including Detroit, have been forced into Chapter 9 bankruptcies since 2008.
Author Richie Bernardo notes that these “already struggling economies are bound to sustain the collateral effects of recession: an increase in crime rates, a decline in school quality and the collapse of local administrations, for instance. In the private sector, property values decline and businesses shut down. With minimal incentive to linger, skilled workers are forced to seek better opportunities in more thriving communities — completely crippling cities that had little hope remaining.”
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To determine which cities were doing well and which were still suffering from economic doldrums, WalletHub set up a comparison of the 150 largest U.S. cities examining 17 key economic indicators. Factors considered in the rankings include the inflow of college-educated workers, new business creation and home-price appreciation.
Top five US cities based on current economic strength
According to the WalletHub study, Lubbock, Texas is ranked as the number one “most recovered” U.S. city. Lubbock enjoys an Employment & Earning Opportunities rank of second, and an Economic Environment rank of eighth. Denver, Colorado was number two on the list. It was ranked first in Employment & Earning Opportunities, and 21st in Economic Environment. Corpus Christi, Texas came in third on WalletHub’s list, with an Employment & Earning Opportunities rank of fourth, and an Economic Environment rank of 14th. Anchorage, Alaska ended up ranked fourth on the “most-recovered” from the recession U.S. cities list. Anchorage has an Employment & Earning Opportunities’ rank of sixth, and an Economic Environment rank of 13th. Houston, Texas rounds out the top five, with an Employment & Earning Opportunities’ rank of 13th, and an Economic Environment rank of 15th.
Five US cities that have recovered the least from the Great Recession
Glendale, Arizona came in 146th (fifth worst) on Wallethub’s 2015 list of “most-recovered” US cities. Glendale was ranked 143 in Employment & Earning Opportunities, and 143rd in Economic Environment. Henderson, Nevada was the fourth most economically challenged city in the U.S., with an Employment & Earning Opportunities rank of 149, and an Economic Environment rank of 103. North Las Vegas, Nevada came in third worst (148th) on the list, with an Employment & Earning Opportunities rank of 150, and an Economic Environment rank of 119th. Tucson, Arizona was the second “least-recovered” from the recession city in the U.S., ranked 145th in the Employment & Earning Opportunities category, and 147th in the Economic Environment category. San Bernadino, California is the bottom-most city on WalletHub’s list, with an Employment & Earning Opportunities rank of 148th, and an Economic Environment rank of 150th.