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[Brookings’ MetroMonitor] 1Q 09 Tracking the Recession and Recovery

To figure out how to fix it, you’ve got to understand what’s going on.

Brooking’s has a created a quarterly series of interactive reports on the 100 largest metro areas called the MetroMonitor [1]:

The Metropolitian Policy Program has launched a series of interactive quarterly reports, the MetroMonitor, a barometer of the health of America’s metropolitan economies, ranking the nation’s 100 largest metro areas—which generate three quarters of U.S. output—on key economic indicators.

They look at a number of metrics in the largest 100 US metro areas.

My only criticism is their use of FHFA data [9]which will overstate the recovery of housing since it only covers Fannie and Freddie data, while comprising 80% of current mortgages being issued, is outperforming the remainder. FHFA doesn’t address higher priced housing, often found in metro markets and are usually financed with jumbo mortgages. Only conforming mortgages have been addressed in the stimulus and federal bailouts. The secondary mortgage market for jumbo financing is essentially gone.

Still, its interesting to see how various metro areas stack up. For example, New York [10]:

Regional employment has fallen 2.1%, compared to 2.9% in the US and ranked 34th out of 100 (1 being the strongest). However, wages have fallen 1.5% compared to +1% in US and ranked near the bottom at 97.