- America’s big cities are one of the main engines of the country’s economy, but these 15 are relatively struggling.
- We ranked the 30 biggest metro areas on five measures of economic health.
- The cities at the bottom of the list tend to have higher unemployment and lower wages.
- Detroit had the weakest economy, according to our metrics.
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America’s big cities have an outsized role in the country’s economic engine, but some urban areas are struggling when compared to their peers.
Business Insider looked at five measures of labor market and overall economic health for the 30 metropolitan areas with the largest populations: the unemployment rate, job-growth rate, per capita GDP, GDP growth, and average weekly wages. We combined those measures together to get an overall sense of economic health in the metro areas.
Detroit, which just hosted the second round of presidential debates for the Democratic party, had the weakest economy among the 30 biggest US metro areas, according to our metrics. The city and its auto-heavy manufacturing sector were hit hard by the Great Recession, and it’s recovered more slowly than many other urban areas. However, there are signs of hope, with major local investors working to bring life back to the city, as detailed by Business Insider’s Rich Feloni in 2018.
Here are 15 big metro areas with the weakest economies, ranked from best to worst:
15. Sacramento, California: The job growth rate of 2.4% was tied for ninth highest among the big metro areas, but the GDP per capita of $46,860 was the sixth lowest.
14. Orlando, Florida: The job growth rate of 3.1% was the second highest among the 30 biggest metros, while the GDP growth rate of 1.9% was the eighth lowest.
13. Cincinnati, Ohio: The average weekly wage of $1,087 was the eighth lowest, while the unemployment rate of 3.1% was tied for tenth lowest.
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