Augusta did well in surviving the recession, but hasn’t done as well as other cities in its economic recovery, according to a Washington, D.C., think tank that has been tracking city-level economies since the Great Recession.
The Brookings Institution has released its quarterly MetroMonitor for three years. The latest analysis, released Wednesday, placed Augusta as 63rd among the nation’s largest 100 cities in terms of its recovery – measured from the low points to most recent quarter.
Though Augusta fared well in gross metropolitan product and home prices, its lower ranking comes mainly from the drop-off in jobs during the recovery period and high unemployment rate.
During the recession, Augusta was 24th in the nation in resilience, Brookings said.
Across the 100 largest metro areas, employment growth remained steady and output growth accelerated, said Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst for the Metropolitan Policy Program and the lead developer of the MetroMonitor. Unemployment rates dropped in about half of the metro areas but still remained above 6 percent in all but 12 cities.
Housing prices reversed course in most large metro areas, bouncing back from two consecutive quarters of losses that had carried most places to new lows.
“The rise in metropolitan home prices indicates that a broadly rooted recovery may be under way in the housing market,” Friedhoff said. “Notably, the strongest performances over the last quarter were in parts of the country hit hardest by the housing crisis, but those are also the places with the furthest left to go.”
Friedhoff said Augusta was one of the strongest performers in home prices in the third quarter, which are the latest data in the analysis.