Official recovery or not, it turns out that cities around the world still have a long way to go to get back to where they were before the downturn.
More than half of the world's 200 largest cities have yet to return to their pre-recession levels in either income or employment, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute. Compared to the pre-recession years of 1993 to 2007, cities all around the world are struggling, especially in North America and Western Europe.
In cities like Dublin and New Orleans, income growth rates decline last year. Chinese cities, which have generally fared much better through the recession, are also seeing a drop off. Industry hubs like Beijing and Guangzhou have seen growth rates drop by over half compared to pre-recession levels.
"China took proactive steps last year to cool off its real estate market, which people were concerned was facing the same kind of bubble condition as in the U.S. and Europe prior to the recession," Alan Berube, an author of the report told The Huffington Post. "In the process of doing that it managed to cool off the economy altogether."
The Brookings findings for U.S. cities mirror other reports. Brookings, which looked only at the 57 largest cities in the U.S., found that none "had fully recovered its recession induced losses by 2011," while and IHS Global Insight report found that only 26 of the nation's 363 cities had returned to pre-recession levels of employment.
While the Brookings report notes significant employment growth declines in cities like Las Vegas, Berube said some cities have faired better than others, a pattern that will likely continue going forward.
"In the United States it will be a mixed bag," he said. "Some places will be back to where they were prior to the recession, growing their income and employment levels -- not at a rapid rate -- but one that should bring unemployment down. Others are still trying to escape the vortex leftover from the recession."
Here are the ten cities whose income growth has dropped most significantly since before the recession, according to the Brookings Institute: