Gosia Wozniacka / AP

In this June 27, 2012 file photo, pedestrians cross a street near the Bank of Stockton in Stockton. The city is asking a judge to approve the plan for reorganizing more than $900 million in long-term debt, while Franklin Templeton Investments wants U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein to reject it.

California cities don’t fare well in recovery rankings

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2014 - 12:17 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Jul. 31, 2014 - 4:44 am

The national economic recession ended five years ago, but recovery has varied widely and California doesn’t fare particularly well in a national survey of economic conditions in the nation’s 150 largest cities.

In fact, Stockton and San Bernardino, two California cities that have filed for municipal bankruptcy, were ranked 149th and 150th in the survey. The highest mark for any California city was San Francisco’s No. 20.

The city-by-city evaluation of economic conditions was conducted by Wallet Hub, a website that gathers and disperses personal economic data.

Its team of university economists assembled 18 key indices of economic health, including employment and unemployment data, personal income changes, real estate values, poverty rates, personal bankruptcies, personal debt and crime rates with scores for each.

“Whenever a city is left behind in a recovery, collateral effects are bound to afflict already struggling economies,” Wallet Hub said in its report. “From a public standpoint, this could lead to further complications: Crime rises, education suffers, local administrations collapse.

“In the private sector, property values decline and businesses shut down. If and when that happens, skilled workers are forced to seek better opportunities in more thriving communities. And a town that had little hope remaining is completely crippled.”

Two cities in Texas, Laredo and Irving, were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the survey and most other high-ranking cities were in the South and Southwest, although Denver was No. 4 and Minneapolis No. 7.

Among California cities, Bakersfield, which is experiencing an oil boom, came in at No. 23 and San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, was No. 35. Los Angeles, the state’s largest city, was ranked No. 99, but it outranked the second largest city, San Diego, which was No. 103, followed by Sacramento at No. 104.

Beyond Stockton and San Bernardino, other California cities low in the rankings included Fresno at No. 125, Long Beach at No. 129, Riverside at No. 140 and Modesto at No. 146.

Call The Bee’s Dan Walters, (916) 321-1195. Follow him on Twitter @WaltersBee.

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