Job Growth In Alabama Metros

Alabama

David Sher's disingenuous argument for city-county consolidation.

David Sher’s disingenuous argument for city-county consolidation.

David Sher, who runs The Comeback Town, has been making the argument for city-county consolidation in the Birmingham metro area on the basis that the existence of rival municipalities in Jefferson County are dragging down relative metro job growth.

Consider the following 2012 metro job growth numbers which were released this afternoon from Al.com:

Auburn-Opelika – 3.18%
Tuscaloosa – 2.35%
Mobile – 2.00%
Montgomery – 1.35%
Florence-Muscle Shoals – 0.74%
Dothan – 0.53%
Birmingham-Hoover – 0.45%
Gadsden – 0.28%
Anniston-Oxford – 0.21%
Huntsville – -0.15%
Decatur – -0.19%

Job growth in the Birmingham-Hoover area in 2012 was “was essentially in line with statewide growth.” In contrast, the Huntsville metro area lost jobs in 2012.

Note: In Georgia, Athens-Clarke County and Augusta-Richmond County have a city-county consolidated government. ASU ranks Athens-Clarke County #135 and Augusta-Richmond County #339 in job growth. Birmingham-Hoover is ranked #291 which compares favorably to Augusta-Richmond County.

David Sher’s favorite examples of city-county consolidated governments are Jacksonville-Duval which is ranked #208, Nashville-Davidson which is ranked #134, and Louisville which is ranked #76.

There are many more Southern metros though which don’t have a city-county consolidated government: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta which is ranked #144, Houston-Baytown-Sugarland which is #34, Austin-Round Rock which is #16, Raleigh-Cary which is #123, and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord which is #41.

Birmingham-Hoover and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta both have incorporated White suburbs in Jefferson County and Fulton County. Yet Atlanta still towers over Birmingham in job growth. Closer to home, Anniston-Oxford is ranked #89 and Montgomery is ranked #159, while Huntsville #296, Auburn-Opelika #343, and Tuscaloosa #363 lag behind Birmingham-Hoover in the ASU rankings.

Montgomery is outperforming Jacksonville-Duval. Savannah and Brunswick (GA), which are ranked #33 and #36 respectively, are strongly outperforming Athens-Clarke County #135 and Augusta-Richmond County #339.

The people of suburban Jefferson County (AL) are wise enough not to be fooled by self-serving arguments made by Birmingham’s promoters.

This entry was posted in Alabama, American South, Diversity, Dixie, Economy, Negroes, Race Relations, Whiteness. Bookmark the permalink.
  • jeppo

    David Sher, who runs The Comeback Town, has been making the argument for city-county consolidation in the Birmingham metro area on the basis that the existence of rival municipalities in Jefferson County are dragging down relative metro job growth.

    What’s that they say about stopped clocks? :)

    Has Sher ever made the argument for city-county consolidation before his March 12 blogpost? I looked at some of his earlier stuff and couldn’t find anything referencing it. Maybe he got the idea by reading the OD comments. ;)

    Where are you getting those metro area job rankings from? You do realize that the consolidated cities of Nashville, Jacksonville and Louisville are only part of their overall metro areas, right? How are black-run Memphis, New Orleans, Baltimore and Richmond doing?

    The 7 county Birmingham-Hoover MSA makes up 24% of Alabama’s population but 31% of its economic production.

    http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/02/alabamas_gdp_by_metro_whos_gro.html

    Obviously most of that production is from Jefferson County. What would be *very* interesting is finding out what percentage of that production is from the city of Birmingham itself. Then we would have a much better idea of exactly how economically reliant the suburbs are on the black-run city.

  • http://www.occidentaldissent.com/ Hunter Wallace
  • http://www.occidentaldissent.com/ Hunter Wallace

    I forgot to insert the link to the ASU website:

    http://wpcarey.asu.edu/bluechip/jobgrowth/secure_msa.cfm

    The website compares Birmingham-Hoover (#291) to Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro (#134) and Jacksonville (#208) and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (#144). See also New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner (#267) and Memphis (#313) and Richmond (#303) and Baltimore-Towson (#207).

  • http://www.occidentaldissent.com/ Hunter Wallace

    See also Tallahassee (#315), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (#122), and Orlando (#120).

  • jeppo

    Thanks for the link. Out of 372 metro areas listed on that site, 19 of them are anchored by black-majority cities. Here they are with their job growth rankings, listed in order of blackness:

    Detroit #251
    Jackson #273
    Birmingham #291
    Baltimore #207
    Memphis #313
    New Orleans #267
    Baton Rouge #284
    Flint #245
    Savannah #33
    Augusta #339
    Shreveport #325
    Montgomery #159
    Atlanta #144
    Cleveland #173
    Harrisburg #221
    Valdosta #201
    Washington #198
    Richmond #303
    Mobile #225

    Apart from Savannah at a respectable #33, the job growth record of metros with a black-majority central city is atrocious. You pointed out that Augusta (#339) and Athens (#135) are city-county consolidations. The difference between them is that the former is majority black while the latter is majority white. Consolidation only makes sense when a majority black city is folded into a majority white county, which would be the case for Birmingham and Mobile, but not Montgomery.

    Now let’s look at the rankings of Big Four city-county consolidations, ranked in order of whiteness:

    Louisville #76
    Indianapolis #177
    Nashville #134
    Jacksonville #208

    Not a great record but not too bad, and definitely much better than the average for the metros of black-majority cities. BTW, Lexington KY, a smaller city-county consolidation, came in at a very respectable #29.

    Of course we shouldn’t put too much weight into this single statistic. But I think we can safely say that having a black-majority central city is economically detrimental to the entire metro area. And things are unlikely to get any better as long as blacks are allowed to continue to run these cities (into the ground). That’s the price to be paid for not consolidating with their white-majority counties.

  • Mosin Nagant

    Note that Harrisburg, on the list of the most black and depressed is not a large city and it lies in the midst of a very prosperous area that has hardly experienced recession.