Jacksonville Economy Gets Bad Ranking; Brookings Institution Compares the City's Job and Housing-Value Losses to Other U.S. Cities

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Byline: Kevin Turner

Stubborn unemployment and dipping housing prices placed Jacksonville in the bottom 20 in economic performance in the first quarter when ranking the nation's 100 largest cities, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program's latest MetroMonitor says the Jacksonville metropolitan area is doing badly in two key areas: the one year change in housing prices, where it came in 94th out of 100, and the one-quarter change in employment, where it ranked 92nd. Jacksonville lost three-tenths of one percent of its employment base during the first quarter and 11.3 percent in value in housing prices when compared to the first quarter of 2010.

The city ranked 88th in gross metropolitan product and 85th in terms of worst employment slide since an employment level peak in the second quarter of 2007. Jacksonville has also lost nearly 38 percent in housing sale price value since 2006.

"It has been a very difficult economic environment, but we are recovering," said Lisa Daniel, director of public relations and communications for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Daniel noted that the chamber is working with more than 50 companies who are seeking to expand or relocate to the Jacksonville metropolitan area.

"Things will come back," she said. "We do see signs of recovery. We have a business community that's committed to helping us overcome this time and getting us back on the track to prosperity. We have a governor and mayor who are committed to that, too."

The metropolitan area's unemployment rate actually dropped in the latter two months of the first quarter, according to data from the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. …


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