Knoxville moves higher on Brookings report

Knoxville’s economy improved over the summer, rising two spots to 12th in the Brookings Institution’s latest “recovery performance” rankings.

The think tank’s MetroMonitor report ranks the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan economies each quarter based on job creation, unemployment rate, metro economic output and housing prices.

For the 2012 second quarter Knoxville ranks 12th overall, 18th for employment, and 14th for output and house prices.

Knoxville ranked 14th overall in the first quarter.

Most metro areas slowed in the second quarter after relatively fast growth in the first quarter, Brookings said in a news release.

“In the race to recovery, metro areas are running at slow speeds with some tripping along the way,” Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst with the Metropolitan Policy Program and lead developer of the MetroMonitor, said in a statement. “Texas and Oklahoma metros weren’t hit as hard in the recession, and their recovery remains stronger as natural gas has boomed. Certain high-tech regions, places in the Mountain West, and manufacturing centers have continued to have healthy recoveries. But parts of the Northeast and metro areas with significant public-sector employment are still struggling.”

Among other Tennessee metro markets, only Nashville — 11th — was ranked higher than Knoxville. Chattanooga ranked 21st and Memphis was 61st.