published Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Chattanooga among fastest growing cities coming out of the recession

Aerial view of downtown Chattanooga.
Aerial view of downtown Chattanooga.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
TOP 10

With this month marking the five-year anniversary of the official end of the recession, NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the cities that have improved the most. The top ranked cities, in order, were:

1) McAllen, Tex.

2) Midland, Tex.

3) San Angelo, Tex.

4) Fargo, N.D.

5) Bryan, Tex.

6) Chattanooga

7) College Station, Tex.

8) Odessa, Tex.

9) Edinburg, Tex.

10) Amarillo, Tex.

Chattanooga was among the leading cities in economic growth coming out of the recession, according to a study released today.

NerdWallet, an online financial advisory service, compared changes in unemployment, household income and home values among America’s 510 biggest cities and ranked Chattanooga No. 6 for growth from 2009 to 2012.

Chattanooga’s annual unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent in 2009 at the depths of the recession to only 7.5 percent in 2012. In the same period, median household income grew in Chattanooga by 13.5 percent and median home values rose 14 percent, according to census bureau and labor department reports.

Chattanooga was the only Southeast city among the top 10 ranked in the recession recovery index. Eight of the top 10 cities were in Texas and the other top 10 city was Fargo, N.D. Most of the fastest growing cities like Chattanooga were mid-sized cities.

“The energy boom certainly helped some areas and other cities improved a lot because they were hit so hard during the recession that they were able to bounce back more than others that didn’t get hit as hard,” said Sreeker Jasthi, an analyst for NerdWallet who wrote the blog comparing city growth rates. “Mid-sized cities also tended to do better than big cities in this period.”

The Great Recession that began in December 2007 when the U.S. housing market was hit hard by subprime mortgage losses and 8.7 million jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession officially ended in June 2009.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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