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Economic Distress Still Pervades Many Cities

In ‘stressed’ ZIP codes, worries about economic futures abound.




Economic Distress Still Pervades Many Cities
Cleveland is an example of a metro area whose downtown has experienced a rebound in recent years, but whose inner-city neighborhoods continue to struggle. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

The U.S. economy continues to exhibit signs of growth, and inflation pressures have been easing. Despite that, a sense of pessimism and uncertainty haunts many Americans, The Press Rundown reports.

As evidence of that, the news site points to the 2024 Economic Innovation Group’s Distressed Communities Index, which shows local economies across the country are still grappling with lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, data from the index shows that approximately 52 million Americans live in ZIP codes distressed by their education levels, poverty rates, employment rates and housing conditions.

“Urban areas have experienced increasing distress in recent years, while surrounding suburbs have fared better economically,” The Press Rundown reports. “The pandemic has exacerbated existing trends, with major population shifts away from large urban counties towards exurban and suburban areas. This demographic shift has been driven by factors such as remote work opportunities and changes in housing preferences.”

Cities like Cleveland and Fort Worth, Texas, exemplify the economic disparities within their regions, TPR notes, with distressed areas concentrated in urban cores while more prosperous communities are found in the suburbs. In response to these challenges, some local governments are implementing initiatives to address inequality and provide equal opportunities for residents.

A more widespread focus on those factors is crucial to ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future, TPR concludes.

Click here for more from The Press Rundown report.




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