Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Charlotte And Pittsburgh

Brookings has released its latest MetroMonitor report. You can find the full text here. Or, you can cheat and look at the maps. I'm focusing on the map titled, "Overall Performance: Recession and Recovery". Pittsburgh is among the strongest 20 metros. Charlotte lands in the "second-weakest 20 metros". From the narrative associated with overall performance assessment:

Nearly all the metropolitan areas whose economies suffered the least since the start of the Great Recession rely substantially on government, education, or energy production and had increases in government employment since the start of the recession. Washington and several state capitals were among the 20 strongest performers since the start of the recession, as were such educational centers as Boston and Pittsburgh and the oil and gas production centers of Dallas, Houston, and Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, nearly all the metropolitan areas that suffered the most since the beginning of the recession either experienced a large house price boom and bust or (in the case of Detroit) depend heavily on auto and auto parts manufacturing. ...

... In general, the metropolitan areas of the inland Northeast and Texas and nearby states had strong economic performance since the start of the recession, as did parts of the mid-Atlantic and the less autospecialized parts of the Great Lakes region. Performance was weakest in the Southeast, West, parts of the coastal Northeast, and the auto communities of the Great Lakes region.

Emphasis added. I'm still adjusting to thinking about Pittsburgh as an "educational center", an up-and-coming Boston. It's a centerpiece that will serve the metro well in the economic order taking shape as we continue to trudge through the financial crisis.

Charlotte is a financial center in a sea of struggling cities. The economic restructuring does not favor this region. The situation is hardly all doom and gloom. But I don't see Charlotte catching up with a surging Pittsburgh. The Sunburn Belt is here to stay.

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