The latest Metro Monitor report from the Brookings Institution finds that from January to March 2012, employment growth accelerated across most of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, while output growth weakened. Unemployment rates continued to fall in more than half of all metropolitan areas, but remained above 6 percent in all but 11 metro areas. Housing prices, on the other hand, hit new lows in 73 of the 100 largest metro areas, raising new concerns after signs of growth in previous quarters. The extent of the economic recovery remained strongest in Texas metro areas, where the recession was relatively mild and natural gas has boomed; in certain high-tech metro areas like Boston, Raleigh, San Jose, and Seattle; and in portions of the Mountain West where house prices have started to stabilize. By contrast, the recovery is lagging in California’s Central Valley and other interior Western metro areas like Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, and Tucson; in government centers such as Albany, Augusta, Honolulu, and Providence; and in Florida metro areas still shedding construction employment. This edition also features a new interactive tool that delivers comprehensive data, including details on industry performance, numeric rankings, and a look back on the previous quarter’s overall recovery ranking to better assess metropolitan economies.

Click here to read the report.