Knoxville, Tenn., Pittsburgh, Penn., and Dallas, Texas are the only U.S. cities that have fully recovered from the recession, according to the latest report from the Brookings Institution.
All three cities experienced major recessions — which the report defines as decline in both GDP per capita and employment — and full recoveries — meaning a return to previous peaks by 2012.
Meanwhile the rest of the country is still suffering, with 53 US metro areas in only partial recovery; 18 still in partial recession; and 2 — Albuquerque and Madison — still in full recessions.
"What is different about Dallas," Brookings associate fellow Emilia Istrate told the Dallas Morning News, "is that services are very important — they are servicing growing clients. This combination drove the growth and helped Dallas come out to full recovery.”
In Knoxville, retailers have brought new business and a stream of new jobs. "We feel very good about how we're coming out of this recession," Mayor Madeline Rogero told Reuters. "We see new interest. We see new development that's occurring. We're optimistic that this recovery is going to continue."
The shale gas boom has helped Pittsburgh weather the storm much better than the rest of the nation.
Brookings' Global MetroMonitor Report found that cities in the developed world in general are getting left behind.
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