More than seven years have passed since the official end of America's Great Recession, but not everyone has equally shared in the recovery.
Some cities have boomed in the years since the national unemployment rate hit 10 percent in October 2009, while others have limped back to normalcy.
A CNBC analysis of the latest per-capita real personal income data from 2009 to 2014, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, reveals which major metros (with minimum populations of 1 million) have led the strongest rebounds above the nationwide average of 7.2 percent.
With an impressive 22 percent growth in real personal income, San Jose tops our list. Income here rose three times more than the national average. The growth may be due in part to the fact that the metro area is home to nearly eight times as many developers as average, and they take in $147,220 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Houston has seen significant income growth over the past several years, but it has also felt the impact of falling oil prices since 2014. Unemployment ticked higher in June to 5.5 percent. "We have had some significant layoffs in the oil and gas industry," said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. However, Jankowski noted that the uptick in unemployment could be seasonally skewed, and he pointed to management and real estate sectors that continue to grow.
The Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro area in Michigan has diversified greatly over the past 20 years, according to Birgit Klohs, CEO of The Right Place, a Western Michigan development corporation. "We have a health-care and life-sciences sector that 20 years ago did not exist," she said. Housing prices are booming, and the unemployment rate came in at only 3.4 percent in June. On top of that, local business confidence levels are running near a 16-year high.
While the impressive 14.6 percent gain in personal income recorded in the San Francisco-Oakland metro area might have you thinking about a move, it is worth noting that the average resident dedicates nearly 40 percent of expenditures to housing, which is above the national average.
Although Oklahoma City has felt the recent impact of falling oil prices, the energy sector only accounts for 3 percent of the city's employment base, according to Kurt Foreman, executive vice president of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. He cites General Electric and Boeing's research centers in Oklahoma City as examples of the city's shift to mechanical engineering.
Notable local employers Kroger and Procter & Gamble employ more than 30,000 Cincinnatians, contributing to the metro's low unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.
While the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area just makes the list, the local economy is showing strength beyond the time horizon analyzed here. Of the 12 largest U.S. metro areas monitored by the BEA, Dallas boasts the second-largest percentage gains in total nonfarm payrolls through 2016 — second only to Phoenix.