Why do Youngstown, Mahoning Valley rank prominently on so many national lists?


Why do Youngstown, Mahoning Valley rank prominently on so many national lists?

By Karl Henkel

khenkel@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown is a great place to raise a family, the poorest city in the nation and home to some of the most inexpensive housing options.

That’s according to various media sources, which, in a sign of the times, has a compulsory urge to rank and list.

But is it possible that Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley are so unique and diverse that they could appear on nearly every city-based list on the Internet?

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is also yes, and a result of a perfect economic storm.

Here’s some explanation on why Youngstown has appeared on some lists.

The Youngstown metro area is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation: The Brookings Institution has come out with numerous quarterly reports during the past year detailing the quick rise of the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman metropolitan area, and the statistics don’t lie.

Employment has climbed in the region for 23 consecutive months.

But why is the unemployment rate still 9.3 percent, well above the national average of 8.2 percent?

To put it lightly — and this predates the recession that started in 2008 — Youngstown’s economy was never in limbo; it was in hell much earlier than the rest of the country.

“This growth we’re getting now is extraordinarily welcome,” said Cleveland-based economist George Zeller. “Youngstown has a better model than any other city in the state, but we’re still not growing fast enough.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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