ANALYSIS: Rockford Among Nation’s ‘Least Recession Recovered’ Cities

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Rockford ranks low when it comes to recovering from the ‘Great Recession’ according to an analysis by Wallethub.com.  However, recent gains in employment in housing in Rockford may have improved its ranking over the past two years, and Wallethub says it analyzed only the city itself and not the surrounding metropolitan area.

WalletHub’s analysts compared 505 U.S. cities of varying sizes across two key dimensions, including “Employment & Earning Opportunities” and “Economic Environment.”  Using 18 key economic metrics, Rockford ranked 445th out of the 505, the lowest score of any city surveyed in Illinois.

Although Wallethub did not provide a detailed analysis of each city, economic metrics where Rockford continues to struggle include inflow of college-educated workers, median household income, poverty rate and share of households receiving public assistance, and population growth.  However, Rockford has seen significant improvement recently in its unemployment rate, job growth, and median home price and sales growth.

Regional factors also play a role, as many Illinois cities scored low, the state dealing with a budget crisis, high property tax rates, and an outflow of population to other states.  Illinois was also especially hit hard by the foreclosure crisis which fueled the ‘Great Recession’.

Midland, TX was the most ‘recession-recovered’ city while San Bernardino, CA was listed as the least.

You can see the full report here.

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