Despite the recession that affected the United States, some cities managed to withstand or ignore the impact of the economic downturn.
One of the cities unaffected by the bad economy is Boulder, Colorado, which has seen an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of $17.6 billion, up from last year’s $16.2 billion. Unemployment rate in Boulder is also relatively lower compared to other US states at 6.9 percent.
The city’s performance was driven by the University of Colorado, which helped keep jobs around. The city’s artistic bent and hippie roots also helped keep the foot traffic moving. Boulder has also seen new employers including advertising company Crispin Porter + Bogusky, plastic sandal maker Crocs and Celestial Seasonings tea. However, the area still depends largely on scientific institutions like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Space Science Institute and Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, as well as other companies including Ball Aerospace and Technologies, Lockheed Martin and IBM.
Austin, Texas recorded an unemployment rate of only 6.8 percent, as the University of Texas and companies like Dell, Forestar Group and Whole Foods, as well as newcomers like Samsung, have helped doled out jobs. The city enjoyed a 5.4 increase in GDP, from 2009’s $73 million to the current $78.4 billion.
Madison, Wisconsin also saw slight economic growth with its reported GDP rising from last year’s $31.2 billion to $34.8 billion and an unemployment rate of only 5.7 percent. The growth was due to the efforts of the state government, the University of Wisconsin, as well as the surrounding biotech and medical communities. Companies like Spectrum Brands have also created more jobs for the newly graduates of Wisconsin.
Washington, D.C also recorded relatively low unemployment rate at 5.8 percent, and higher GDP at $407.5 billion from 2009’s $366.6 billion.
Meanwhile, about 113 metro areas in the United States are still facing an unemployment rate of 10 percent or higher. This is lower from the 166 cities in 2010.
Some of the cities badly hit by the recession are El Centro, California, where one out of every four people is unemployed, and the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area, which is still facing about 14 percent unemployment.
Meanwhile, unemployment rate in Las Vegas stood at 13.3 percent, leading to an increase in number of foreclosures and 2.6 percent decline in passenger numbers.
In addition, over 210 cities are below the average nationwide rate, and 65 areas dropped seven percent.