Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
The BEA yesterday released advanced 2010 numbers for metro area GDP. This of course measures what was happening last year, not today as with the more current national GDP numbers. But it is still worth reading.
The headline is that after a 2.5% drop in GDP in 2009, there was a 2.5% rise in overall metro GDP in 2010. That’s good news from an economic output perspective. Here’s the BEA’s quintile chart of 2009-2010 changes:
From a national perspective, among large metros San Jose was a runaway winner, growing by 13.4%, nearly doubling up on second place Austin at 7.0% This clearly shows the recent tech boom in action. Here are the top ten cities (among metros of more than a million people, on a real GDP percent change basis).
|Rank||Metro Area||2009||2010||Pct Change|
|1||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||147,860||167,661||13.39%|
|2||Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX||76,698||82,043||6.97%|
|6||New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||1,096,869||1,147,917||4.65%|
|9||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||75,969||78,880||3.83%|
Per capita values are not available at this time as the BEA is still benchmarking to the new Census values.
Of course, economic output growth is one thing, job growth – arguably what we need most – is another. San Jose, which blew up the charts in output growth, didn’t grow jobs much at all. Ryan Avent discusses this case study specifically over at his blog in a post called “The Gated Valley.” He attributes the discrepancy to the inability to expand the housing stock. I’m sympathetic to this, but there are other barriers to employment growth in California, and the tech industry has seen a significant change in its employment patterns as even the most successful companies often don’t have that many employees. Whatever the case, don’t assume that all the top cities in this survey necessarily have healthy job markets.
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