Knoxville fares well in Brookings report

The nation’s economic recovery is “running out of steam,” but Knoxville is doing better than most other metropolitan markets when it comes to job creation and production, according to study released this week by The Brookings Institution.

Knoxville was one of only 19 metro areas that saw faster output growth in the second quarter than in the first quarter, Brookings reports in the quarterly MetroMonitor, which analyzes the health of the nation’s 100 largest metro economies.

As for jobs, Knoxville ranked No. 5 with a 1.3 percent decline in the unemployment rate between the second quarter of 2009 and the same time this year.  And, Knoxville was No. 8 in job creation in the first hald of 2010 with 1.1 percent increase from the first quarter to the second quarter

Jobs and output growth were strong across Tennessee in the second quarter, according to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis, joined Knoxville in the group of 19 metros with a faster output growth in the second quarter this year.

Nashville and Chattanooga were Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, with a 1.1 percent drop in the unemployment rate from the second quarter of 2009.

Overall, authors of the Brookings report offer a rather dismal take on the recovery.

“Nearly three years after the beginning of the Great Recession, the nation’s economic recovery, jobless and fragile since its onset, seems to be running out of steam,” the report says.

The tone of the Brookings report is in sharp contrast to a recent study by another think tank — the Milken Institute based in California — which characterized the economy as better than generally perceived.

“Despite the formidable obstacles in its path, the U.S. economy remains flexible and resilient — and right now, it has more underlying momentum than is generally acknowledged,” the Milken report says.

Everybody has an opinion. Draw your own conclusions.

Brookings MetroMonitor report

Milken From Recession to Recovery: Analyzing America’s Return to Growth