Toledo Skyline at sunset on Wednesday, 08/14/13, in Toledo, Ohio. FOR FILES
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Toledo ranks 32nd among the nation’s 100 biggest metro areas in recovering from the recession, according to the Brookings Institution.
The Washington think tank’s latest update of its Metropolitan Policy Program’s MetroMonitor index of economic recovery released on Wednesday covers the second quarter of 2013.
Brookings studies how the nation’s largest metro areas have fared in four specific areas since they reached their low point — or trough. Three months ago, Toledo ranked 29th in the MetroMonitor rankings.
In unemployment, Toledo ranks 10th, having seen its unemployment rate drop 4.7 points since reaching its highest point in the second quarter of 2009.
But in employment, Toledo ranks only 44th, having added 5.1 percent more jobs since the first quarter of 2010.
Seeing unemployment improve more than employment would suggest that the work force is shrinking, either because people are moving away, retiring, or becoming frustrated and giving up on looking for a job.
In output, Toledo ranked 24th, with the goods and services produced in the area growing 11.7 percent since its low point in the second quarter of 2009.
The metro area’s worst performance was found in house prices, as measured by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Brookings ranks Toledo 78th in that category, saying that house prices have continued to fall. The Toledo Board of Realtors’ numbers say there has been a slight rise in home prices, but those numbers are not adjusted for inflation and only count homes sold by Realtors.
Overall, Brookings said the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas showed slow but steady improvement on the four key indicators.
It said output grew in each of the last four quarters for 70 of the 100 metro areas, and in 65 of them, output reached or surpassed pre-recession peaks.
“The nation continues to post positive economic numbers in the long march toward recovery, but the prospect of full recovery remains far off,” said Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst with the Metropolitan Policy Program and the lead developer of the MetroMonitor. “Yet the real story depends on your location — many metro areas are experiencing robust recoveries while others continue to languish.”
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