Boise’s economy got a vote of confidence today, in the form of a report from the Brookings Institution. It puts Boise among the top 20 metro areas in the country, in terms of recession and recovery, considering measures such as job growth and housing market improvement.
Brookings researcher Kenan Fikri says growth in the city’s manufacturing and high tech sectors late last year boosted Boise’s economy. That, in turn, bolstered the local housing market. While that is definitely good news, it does come with a caveat.
“The Boise economy looks very good over the short-term, looking back about one year, but it doesn’t look so good over the long term,” Fikri says. “To understand Boise’s recovery you really need to look over the cycle, from peak before the recession to the present.”
In other words, the recession hit the city very hard, and Boise is still climbing back from the depths. At the end of last year, Boise’s housing prices remained more than 43 percent below their prices at the peak. Nationally, housing prices were down slightly more than 25 percent. The city’s employment rate was 7.8 percent below its 2007 peak. Nationally, meanwhile, the employment rate was a much smaller 4.4 percent below its highest level pre-recession.
In addition to its national MetroMonitor report, the Brookings Institution today released the Mountain Monitor, an evaluation of the ten major metropolitan areas in the Intermountain West. Boise and Phoenix lead the region in terms of recovery, according to that report.