BUSINESS

Area makes Forbes list for economic recovery

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – Forbes magazine has ranked the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area 10th in its recently-released list of the fastest-recovering cities, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce.

Of the 100 largest nationwide MSAs analyzed by Forbes, the Baton Rouge area ranked number ten primarily due to its relatively low unemployment, stable housing market and diversified industry.

Each of the 100 MSAs was measured across five categories in order to calculate an average overall recovery city ranking: home prices, unemployment rates, foreclosures, gross metropolitan product or the measure of the size of a city's economy, and home sales rates which are determined by the average days on the market for properties currently on sale.

The Baton Rouge MSA ranked 9th, 14th, 15th, 58th, and 75th, respectively, in each of the five categories Forbes measured in order to achieve its 10th overall ranking.

“This has been a joint effort to move our city forward under adverse conditions,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden. “It’s a tribute to the people of our community to look at what some see as an obstacle and turn it into an opportunity. Once again, it’s a tribute to our resiliency.”

“The majority of the regions in the top ten of this list are some of the most economically-strong regions of the country. The Baton Rouge area is now regularly considered among them,” said Adam Knapp, BRAC’s president and CEO. “This ranking also reinforces BRAC’s forecast of one-to-two percent job growth over the coming year and reiterates our belief that we will see a healthy housing market, continued capital investment, and increased population growth.”

Topping the Forbes list was Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA, followed by San Antonio; Austin-Round Rock, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Penn. The New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA metro area was the only other Louisiana MSA to make the list, ranking 49th.  

For the complete list, see www.forbes.com/2009/11/19/cities-recovery-unemployment-lifestyle-real-estate-top-ten-chart.html.