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Brookings Institution: Global Metro Monitor: The Path to Economic Recovery

In its Global Metro Monitor: The Path to Economic Recovery report, the Brookings Institution ranks global metropolitan areas based on pre- and post-recession economic activity. Metros that experienced the greatest booms before the recession were often those that fell the hardest during the downturn, such as Phoenix and Las Vegas. While 29 of the 30 highest ranked cities for recovery strength are outside the United States and Europe (only Austin, Texas, made the cut), American cities such as Detroit and Cleveland have made impressive gains after suffering deep losses. Here are the top 10 U.S. metros based on 2009-2010 recovery in jobs and economic growth.


1. Austin, Texas (1/11)

Austin's income growth outpaced the national average during the recovery, and the city grew employment at 3.2 percent from 2009-2010. Its economic strength encouraged Facebook to choose the city for its first significant expansion outside of California this year.

Next: Virginia Beach

2. Virginia Beach, Virginia (2/11)

Virginia Beach has a diversified economy across agribusiness, business and industry, construction and real estate, military, and retail and wholesale trade. This year, DAVCON said it would invest $1.4 million to build a new warehouse in the city.

Next: Washington, D.C.

3. Washington, D.C. (3/11)

It's the nation's capital, but private business supports nearly 90 percent of D.C.'s labor market. Professional and business services lead employment, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities. The metro has the fourth largest economy in the country and ranks first nationally in net new job growth over the past 10 years.

Next: Dallas

4. Dallas, Texas (4/11)

Real gross city product (GCP) in Dallas increased 7.3 percentage points in Q2 2010. That figure dropped 3.3 percent in the first quarter, but increased to 4 percent in the second quarter. Most of Dallas' labor force is concentrated in office and administrative support, while transportation and production comprise the next largest employment sectors.

Next: Baltimore

5. Baltimore, Maryland (5/11)

Universities dominate Baltimore's labor market, with Johns Hopkins University and Hospital and the University of Maryland system employing much of the city's work force. The city is home to nearly 14,000 companies.

Next: Minneapolis

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota (6/11)

More than 30 percent of Minneapolis' work force has a college degree, making its labor pool one of the country's most educated. The city also records one of the lowest rates of absenteeism in the United States. Minneapolis is also home to 19 Fortune 500 companies, and works to keep its economy diversified.

Next: Detroit

7. Detroit, Michigan (7/11)

Detroit experienced the height of the recession's wrath as the auto industry imploded. Now, as automakers show signs of strength, the city is rebounding. It's also investing in attracting new industries.

Next: Nashville

8. Nashville, Tennessee (8/11)

It's known as Music City, but Nashville is also growing business. Not only does it attract businesses and employees for its high quality of life, but it is pushing its economy forward with a diversified business base. HCA, Gaylord Entertainment, Bridgestone Americas, and Nissan North America all have corporate headquarters here.

Next: Cleveland

9. Cleveland, Ohio (9/11)

Although Cleveland has had to battle Rust Belt stereotypes, the city is proving that the Midwest is becoming a hub for emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing. The metro, which comprises a quarter of Ohio's population, is focusing on sustainable economic growth and training its work force for the jobs of the future.

Next: Seattle

10. Seattle, Washington (10/11)

Seattle's King County has the largest business center not just in Washington State, but in the entire Pacific Northwest. Corporate heavyweights such as, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Costco, Starbucks, and Safeco call the county home. Now the city is leveraging its proximity to major research institutions to propel its economy forward.

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