A recent study conducted by the Brookings Institution and the London School of Economics found that Portland, Oregon, and Las Vegas, Nevada, were among the cities hardest hit by the recession in the world.
The study analyzed employment and income growth in 150 metro-area economies around the world, the Oregonian reports. It grouped these figures into three time periods for each city: pre-recession, during recession and post-recession. Researchers then analyzed which cities experienced greater employment and income growth losses during the recession.
Las Vegas fared worst among the 150 cities included in the study. In pre-recession years, it ranked 14th on the list for employment and income growth. In the period between 2009 and 2010, dubbed by researchers the post-recession period, Las Vegas ranked 146th out of 150. Portland had a pre-recession rank of 45th and a post-recession rank of 139th, according to the news source. Riverside, California, also stood out for having lost a lot of economic ground during the recession.
Among the studies most interesting results was that manufacturing hubs like Detroit and Cleveland were found to be have weathered the economic turndown well, and were found to be on their way to recovery. According to University of Oregon economics professor Tim Duy, the findings aren't very surprising.
"You look at late 1980s and early 1990s, manufacturing was really important, particularly high-tech manufacturing. But in this last decade, it was all about housing," he said. This may explain why manufacturing hubs like Detroit fared relatively well compared to cities like Portland or Las Vegas, which experienced real estate speculation and were thus deeply affected by the burst of the housing bubble.
The study recommends that cities like Portland "embrace the potential of exports - most of which originate in these very metros - to generate wealth and high-quality jobs."