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15 U.S. cities that were hurt the most by the recession

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The fluctuations in Wall Street in August were a big reminder to everyone: the Great Recession might have ended barely six years ago, yet there is always risk when investing. And even though six years might seem like a lifetime to some, the reality is that some cities across the United States have not been able to recover as fast as others, according to recent report in WalletHub.

The report set out to measure the progress of local economies and how they’ve been able to bounce back — or how they’ve sunk lower — since the Great Recession of 2008. Part of the results stem from a comparison of the 150 largest cities in the United States, across 17 key economic indicators. These indicators are listed below with their corresponding weights. For each metric, except “Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filing,” WalletHub analyzed the change between its pre- and post-recession levels. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available only at the state level, according to WalletHub.

Category 1: Employment and earning opportunities – Total Weight: 5

  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight

  • Inflow of College-Educated Workers (%): Full Weight

  • Ratio of Part-Time to Full-Time Jobs: Full Weight

  • Median Household Income: Full Weight

  • Labor-Force Participation Rate: Double Weight

Category 2: Economic environment – Total Weight: 5

  • Median Home Price: Full Weight

  • Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight

  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight

  • Percentage of Households Receiving Public Assistance: Full Weight

  • Population Size: Full Weight

  • Bankruptcy: Half* Weight

  • Number of Businesses: Full Weight

  • Average Experian Vantage Credit Score: Full Weight

  • Consumer Non-Housing Debt: Full Weight

  • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight

  • GMP (Gross Metropolitan Product): Full Weight

  • Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filing: Double Weight

The sources that WalletHub used to create these rankings include: the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States Courts, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zillow Real Estate research, Experian and Governing.

Below, we list the bottom 15 cities, out of a total of 150, that have had the hardest time bouncing back from the Great Recession, with their corresponding numbers for overall ranking, and their rankings in each of the two categories listed above. The list also includes other rankings that WalletHub generated in different categories, which are listed as follows:

  • Lowest home price appreciation

  • Lowest decrease of poverty rate

  • Lowest decrease in the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs

  • Lowest decrease in unemployment rate

  • Lowest decrease in violent-crime rate 

fresno

15. Fresno, California

Overall rank: 136

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 144

Economic environment rank: 109

Also came in as the:

  • No. 150 (last place) city with the lowest decrease in unemployment rate

cape coral florida

14. Cape Coral, Florida

Overall rank: 137

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 133

Economic environment rank: 143

Also came in as the:

  • No. 147 (fourth from last place) city with the lowest decrease in poverty rate

  • No. 147 (fourth from last place) city with the lowest decrease in the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs

las vegas nevada

13. Las Vegas, Nevada

Overall rank: 138

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 145

Economic environment rank: 117

phoenix az

12. Phoenix, Arizona

Overall rank: 139

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 142

Economic environment rank: 138

reno nv

11. Reno, Nevada

Overall rank: 140

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 147

Economic environment rank: 115

stockton ca

10. Stockton, California

Overall rank: 141

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 119

Economic environment rank: 149

Also came in as the:

  • No. 121 (fifth from last place) city with the lowest home price appreciation

  • No. 148 (third from last place) city with the lowest decrease of poverty rate

detroit michigan

9. Detroit, Michigan

Overall rank: 142

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 130

Economic environment rank: 148

Also came in as the:

  • No. 125 (last place) city with the lowest home price appreciation list

  • No. 150 (last place) city with the lowest decrease in poverty rate 

mesa az

8. Mesa, Arizona

Overall rank: 143

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 136

Economic environment rank: 146

tempe az

7. Tempe, Arizona

Overall rank: 144

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 139

Economic environment rank: 144

modesto ca

6. Modesto, California

Overall rank: 145

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 138

Economic environment rank: 145

Also came in as the:

  • No. 136 (fifth from last place) city with the lowest decrease in violent-crime rate

glendale az

5. Glendale, Arizona

Overall rank: 146

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 143

Economic environment rank: 141

henderson nv

4. Henderson, Nevada

Overall rank: 147

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 149

Economic environment rank: 103

Also came in as the:

  • No. 149 (second from last place) city with the lowest decrease in the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs

  • No. 148 (third from last place) city with the lowest decrease in unemployment rate

north las vegas nv

3. North Las Vegas, Nevada

Overall rank: 148

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 150

Economic environment rank: 119

Also came in as the:

  • No. 123 (third from last place) city with the lowest home price appreciation

tucson az

2. Tucson, Arizona

Overall rank: 149

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 145

Economic environment rank: 147

san ber ca

1. San Bernardino, California

Overall rank: 150

Employment and earning opportunities’ rank: 148

Economic environment rank: 150

Also came in as the:

  • No. 122(fourth from last place) city with the lowest home price appreciation

  • No. 146 (fifth from last place) city with the lowest decrease in poverty rate

See also:

Survey: Nearly 2 in 3 Americans losing sleep due to finances 

11 tips to avoid joining the $2 trillion in consumer debt

1 in 6 Americans are hiding secret debt from their partner

To view the full report, go here.