These Cities Have Recovered Most Since the Recession

5 Replies

Glassdoor recently published its recovery index across 300+ cities, taking into account the local unemployment rate, level of job growth, and the change in wage rate. I thought the data would be interesting for both current and future investors. Here's the link:

http://www.glassdoor.com/research/the-recovery-index/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=July2015_US&utm_content=RECESSIONREB

You know, it's amazing how statistical data can be manipulated and interpreted to say almost anything.  What this report failed to speak to is the levels each of those areas sat at, prior to the Great Recession.  Without that piece of information, it is impossible to measure how far they fell, thus impossible to measure how far they have rebounded.

Take Midland/Odessa for instance, which by-the-way should always be counted as a single city, not 2.  Midland/Odessa's dropping unemployment was entirely due to a rebounding energy sector, and it is currently rising again as gas prices have dropped and fracking has been curtailed.

The Dallas/Ft Worth/Arlington MSA isn't on the list, because it didn't see a comparatively significant downturn, so there was not as big of a rebound.  However, DFW-A is outpacing every major metropolitan area in job creation and at the top in population growth.

BTW... @Jonathan K.  I'm not criticizing the posting of this article, not at all.  I'm criticizing the writers of the article for not better positioning and interpreting the numbers.  Glassdoor is an employment site.  As such, they should ensure they position their interpretation of these numbers in a way that makes it clear to everyone that employment gains do not necessarily equate to gains in all areas and note that smaller markets are often tied to single industries, which leave them vulnerable and volatile.

And, I'm not sending out an alert that DFW is awesome...although it is!  We've got plenty of investors here already.  Just a word of caution to not leap into markets on the basis of published statistics, unless you understand what the numbers really are.  Just my 2 cents.

I saw that list the other day, and I thought it was strange to see no DFW representation, but then again DFW was relatively insulated from the effects of the recession from what I understand (I didn't arrive here until 11/12, from Austin).

@Hattie Dizmond No criticism taken. Simply thought it was interesting. Your points are well taken. Each city has its own unique story, as you pointed out with our knowledge of Texas, and data sets can suffer from all sorts of statistical biases and be manipulated to tell a story. 

I view data sets/lists such as these as starting points for further probing/analysis, as opposed to drawing final conclusions.

@Hattie Dizmond

Thank you for making such great points! It's difficult to judge where something has gone when you don't know where it has been. Detroit may be rebounding but I still don't want to invest there. On the other hand, in my area a 2BR/1BA is worth $300k & average income here is only $55k. Bay area residents are jacking up our prices by retiring & moving here. So it isn't the best market for rentals. I'm looking at the central valley & Lompoc.

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