In Growing Economies, Some People Are Left Behind

http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-metro-area-economies-brookings-report.html

By most measures, metro areas such as Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh, N.C.; have enjoyed some of the strongest economic growth in recent years. The resulting prosperity, however, isn’t spreading across all segments of the workforce, particularly to the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

These three regions and others have enjoyed strong job gains but earned low marks on measures of economic inclusion in a Brookings Institution report released Thursday. The study, while assessing overall growth and prosperity, also examines the extent to which standards of living have improved for all people within metro areas…

Brookings ranked the 100 largest metro areas using a series of indicators in four areas: economic growth, prosperity, economic inclusion and inclusion by race. Most metro areas registered gains in economic growth and prosperity, but few improved on measures of inclusion…

Consider the Austin metro area: It recorded the strongest growth nationally in both total jobs and gross metropolitan product. At the same time, its inflation-adjusted median wage still declined and the relative income poverty rate climbed faster than in all but 18 other areas…

Albuquerque, N.M.; Augusta, Ga.; and Columbia, S.C.; were the lowest-ranked metro areas for changes in overall inclusion in the Brookings report…

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