Slow economic recovery in St. Louis, study shows

It’s been around 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there has been a substantial amount of economic recovery, it is far from evenly distributed across different areas of the country and sectors of the economy. A recent report indicates that St. Louis ranks low in terms of economic recovery compared to most metros.

The report was conducted by Stessa. Taking data from Redfin and the U.S. Census Bureau, Stessa scored the economic recovery of the 51 largest metro areas in the country in 2021. The factors studied were percentage change in unemployment from January 2021 to May 2021, the unemployment rate in May 2021, average monthly building permits per 100,000 residents, and average monthly home sales per 100,000 residents.

From these factors the study drew a numerical score. The highest ranking metro area was the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin metro area with a composite score of 78.9. The metro area with the slowest recovery was Hartford, CT, with a score of 22.4.

St. Louis comes in at the slower end with a composite score 40.5 and an overall ranking of 33 out of the 51 metros studied. Percentage change in employment was just barely up by 0.1% while overall unemployment was at 4.6%. One interesting data point is that despite ranking low on overall economic recovery, the rate of home sales per 100,000 residents was quite high, at an average of 119 per month.

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