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Mayors Release Metro Jobs Report Forecasting Anemic Job Growth

By Dave Gatton
January 30, 2012


The nation's mayors released their 2012 jobs forecast on the eve of its 80th Winter Meeting in Washington (DC), showing that in 2011, job growth will hover around the 1.3 percent level. Some job growth will finally reach almost every metro economy in 2012, the report predicts, but will not be enough to bring the national unemployment rate below eight percent.

"The economic recovery is too slow, and it is a direct result of the inaction of this Congress in 2011," said Conference of Mayor President Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. "If we gave the 112th Congress a mid-term report card, the grade would be clear. Congress would get an F-," he told his colleagues in his opening address.

According to the report, prepared by IHS Global Insight, 125 metro areas had not seen any net job growth by the end of 2011 from the Great Recession. The economy as a whole had only regained 30 percent of its lost jobs from the recession by the end of last year.

The outlook for 2012, however, is slightly better. 360 metros will experience some job growth, even though 179 of these will see growth only of 0.1 to 1.3 percent. By the end of this year, the report forecast that the nation would have recovered slightly less than half (48 percent) of its lost jobs.

For almost 80 of the nation's metro areas, it will take more than five years to get back to pre'recession levels of employment.

The report also offers a glimpse into what middle-class families are going through in this economy: median real income for US households in 2010 was $49,4557.1 percent lower than in 1999, when it was $53,252.

In 2011 U.S. metro economies contributed 90.4 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, up from 90.0 percent in 2010.

The nation's metros also lead the country in exports. U.S. metro areas account for 88 percent of the nation's exports. Over the past two decades, the merchandise value of manufactured exports in the U.S. has tripled, reaching $1.8 trillion in 2010, or 8.8 percent of GDPup from 6.9 percent in 1990.

The full report is available on usmayors.org and contains 2012 job forecast for each of the nation's 363 metros.