Brookings Institute: Metro Recovery Index

Measuring the impacts of the COVID-19 recession and the road to recovery differ widely across local economies

by Trends Staff

The Metro Recovery Index, offered by Brookings Institute, was created because the “…impacts of the COVID-19 recession and the road to recovery differ widely across local economies.”

The Index presents this information in two different main views: “At a Glance” and a dashboard.

“At a Glance” offers a side-by-side view of metro areas with a similar population size. Filter by:

  • Recession Impact, using a pre-covid, or “pre-crisis” baseline.
  • Current Trajectory, using trends over the last month as baseline.

And by population sizes:

  • Very Large, more than 1 million, such as the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA and the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metro areas.
  • Large (between 500k & 1 million), such as the Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA and Boise, ID metro areas.
  • Midsized (250k-500k) such as the Kennewick-Richland, WA and the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA metro areas.

The Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA metro area, comprised of Pend Oreille County, Spokane County, and Stevens County, is considered a Large metro area based on the estimated population of just over 580,000.

The dashboard is located below the “At a Glance” section. Here, select from the same metro areas, but the key economic indicators provide much greater detail than the side-by-side comparison in the “At a Glance” view. The dashboard also shows very recent data, such as each month of 2020, or over the six previous quarters.

Key economic indicators used in the Brookings Metro Recovery Index:

  • By Labor Market aspects (number of jobs, unemployment rate, weekly unemployment claims, and unique job postings).
  • By Economic Activity aspects (number of passengers, mobility to workplaces, volume of hours worked at small businesses, and small business closings).
  • By Real Estate aspects (number of active listings, median list price, commercial property vacancies, and average rent paid at multi-family properties).