WASHINGTON The economies of 119 U.S. metropolitan areas likely either declined or were flat this year, compared to only 73 areas where the local economies sputtered in 2012, according to a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday.
Many more metropolitan areas probably had some economic growth in 2013, the group of mayors found in the study prepared by IHS Global Insight, but that growth was slim. Of the 244 areas where the economies expanded, 93 had growth of 1 percent or less.
A metropolitan area usually includes a city and surrounding suburbs.
Texas has recovered quickly from the 2007-09 recession, and its town of Midland likely had the most robust growth this year of 7.3 percent, the report found, followed by the metropolitan area of Odessa, 6.4 percent.
The report also looked at employment, given that nearly 90 percent of U.S. non-farm jobs are found in metropolitan areas. It expects that 290 areas saw some job growth, more than three times the 73 areas that likely saw flat or declining employment. Some of the largest increases were again in Texas, where Houston's employment likely grew 3.6 percent and employment in the Dallas area likely increased 3.4 percent.
(Reporting By Lisa Lambert; Editing by David Gregorio)