California Metro Areas Receive 'F' on Economic Security Report Card

Detail of Map | Courtesy Urban Institute
Detail of Map | Courtesy Urban Institute

The Urban Institute has graded the top 100 U.S. metro areas in economic security. 12 are in California and it's nothing to write home about. The Bay Area and San Jose regions both received D's -- the rest of the state's areas had F's. (So much about our future prosperity?)

Grades were based on four factors: "erosion in house values, current unemployment, purchasing power of a low-wage job, and the rate of serious mortgage delinquencies," according to the institute.

"By combining data on unemployment... the map offers a more robust look at the interrelated elements affecting economic security in the country's metro areas," explains Nate Berg at The Atlantic Cities.

Robust, indeed. The interactive map allows you to change the value placed on the four economic indicators. By default, each is weighted equally, but change the values and the picture in Southern California changes, if only slightly.

For example, if the economic future was primarily based on housing unaffordability, the Bakersfield region goes from an F to a B. If serious mortgage delinquency was only considered, the Thousand Oaks - Oxnard area shoots up to a C. And if only unemployment and housing unaffordability were considered in the Los Angeles - Long Beach - Santa Ana region, it would have the lowest ranking in the country.

Check out the map here.

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