President Truman may not have been the first to say, “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” But his 1958 comment has resonated in every economic downturn since, even as economists and pundits sought to measure the pain.
Last week, WalletHub attempted to measure the winners and losers since the worst recession post-Great Depression ended five years ago and came up with a list that was not kind to California.
The economic recoveries of Stockton and San Bernardino ranked 149 and 150, respectively, among the nation’s 150 largest cities, using criteria based on 18 “essential metrics.” Bankruptcy was a heavily-weighted factor, which both cities have suffered through.
No California city made the Top 10. The median ranking of California’s 29 cities was 114, below the midpoint of 100. The average was 102.
San Francisco, by virtue of a strong showing in “Employment and Earning Opportunities,” checked in at No. 20. That category consists of median household income increase, ratio of part-time to full-time jobs, unemployment rate decrease and inflow increase of college-educated workers.
The city did not fare as well in “Economic Environment,” the other 14 criteria, including unemployment rate decrease, foreclosure rate decrease, violent crime rate decrease, poverty rate decrease and median home price appreciation.
Bakersfield was the second-highest ranked California city at No. 23. San Jose was No. 35, Los Angeles No. 99 and San Diego No. 103.
Laredo, Texas, was No. 1 on the list nationally, followed by Irving, Texas, Fayetteville, North Carolina, Denver, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Texas, Minneapolis, Lubbock, Texas, Garland, Texas, and Tulsa.
WalletHub is not the first to rank winners and losers from the recession. Production of these lists has turned into a cottage industry that invariably producess a bunch of Texas cities at the top and a few California cities at the bottom. A month ago, NerdWallet ranked 510 cities. Eight of its Top 10 were from Texas.
Twenty-nine California cities made the WalletHub list: