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Chicagoland economy expected to lag in 2014

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 9:19 a.m. CDT

By Paul Tooher

A robust economic recovery will continue to elude the Windy City, according to a new report published in Forbes.

In its review of regions across the country with the most economic momentum, Chicago ranked 40th out of 52 of the largest metropolitan areas examined by the magazine.

The magazine says it looked at GDP growth, job growth, real median household income growth and current unemployment in determining its rankings. It also looked at population growth, birth rate, domestic migration and the change in educational attainment.

According to Forbes, Chicago is expected to see virtually no job growth in 2014. Chicago’s unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with the national jobless rate of 7.3 percent nationally for the same period.

Real median income declined 5.74 percent between 2009 and 2012 to $59,261.

Austin, Texas, showed the most momentum. The Texas capital has seen the number of jobs increase by 11.8 percent between August 2007 and October 2013. Its population increased 16.3 percent between 2007 and 2012. Median household income, however, declined 5.4 percent since 2007. The unemployment rate for the region stood at 5.4 percent in 2013.

Forbes ranked three other Texas cities among its top 10, including San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Other cities on the top 10 list were Salt Lake City, Nashville, Denver, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, N.C., and San Jose, Calif.

The magazine said cities like Salt Lake City, Denver and Oklahoma City are benefiting from the recent surge in energy production.

Detroit ranked last among major metropolitan areas, trailing Las Vegas, Providence, R.I., Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., and Cleveland.

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