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.

jeppo
Guest
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… Read more »
jeppo
Guest
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)… Read more »
Mosin Nagant
Guest

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.

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