morning headlines from the mega-region's newspapers:
"Pittsburgh is an economic champion, too"
Add this to the Lombardi Trophy and Stanley Cup: The city ranks 18th on the Brookings Institution listing on the strength of local economies in the U.S. (story)
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Recession will last longest in Midwest, including Ohio, two reports show"
Cleveland ranked 95th among the nation's largest 100 metropolitan areas in economic growth, with a 6.2 percent drop, the Brookings analysis of Moody's Economy.com data said. (story)
1 - how to explain the growing divergence between Cleveland and Pittsburgh?
2 - how does this divergence effect Youngstown, the place in the middle of the two?
ok, in truth, way too much stock is put in these "snapshot" reports by the media and other civic boosters and gasp, even bloggers.
I say "snapshot" because looking at the analysis methods, their research for the most part is examining trends in one year of data. (they look at four items only: percent employment, percent unemployment, metro GDP, and some housing price index)
In a more robust world, at least three years to five years is a much better slice to observe. In addition, GDP growth is a very interesting statistic, but GDP per capita might be a better one to use, especially as some metros are shrinking in size and population.
The authors are looking at recovery from the recession, which may justify their shorter time frame. One might argue Brookings has done longer-range quality reports that show many of the same results.
As a whole (one person's opinion), analyses from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings are generally pretty reputable, as opposed to the junk that comes from Forbes magazine.