Brookings Report: St. Louis’ Economy Doing Better Than Many Older Industrial Cities

By on May 11, 2018

From St. Louis Public Radio:  In a Brookings Institution study of 70 older industrial cities, St. Louis ranks among the ones with stronger economies that are making progress on the road toward renewal and reinvention.

“It’s been one of the stronger economies in terms of job creation, in terms of good job creation,” explained Alan Berube, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and co-author of the study.

“The jobs, on average, are getting better in the St. Louis economy, and incomes and employment are increasing at faster rates locally than they are in a lot of older industrial cities.”

The report, called “Renewing America’s Economic Promise through Older Industrial Cities,” places cities in four major groups based on their economic performance from 2000 to 2016:

  • Strong older industrial cities (16 ) are not growing particularly rapidly, but achieve high marks on prosperity and inclusion (ex: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. and Waterloo, Iowa)
  • Emerging older industrial cities (24) are regionally diverse and exhibit average marks among all urban counties on prosperity and inclusion (ex: Providence, Rhode Island, and Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Stabilizing older industrial cities (16) generally rank among the bottom third of all counties on measures of growth, prosperity, and inclusion (ex: Akron, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana.)
  • Vulnerable older industrial cities (14) rank among the bottom 5 percent of all urban counties on a combined index of growth, prosperity, and inclusion (ex: Macon, Georgia, and Flint, Michigan)

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