Economy
12:57 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Study: Miami Bouncing Back From Recesssion, Hialeah Not So Much

Credit Daniel Reichert (Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Miami’s post-recession recovery is going relatively well; Hialeah’s is not, according to a new study from WalletHub.

The company, which provides online financial analysis tools for individuals and small businesses, looked at 18 different metrics to develop their own recovery ranking: changes in home value, the poverty rate and the foreclosure rate, to name a few.

Of the country’s 150 biggest cities, Miami’s recovery ranked 18th. Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale were close to the middle of the list at 66 and 68, respectively.

According to WalletHub, Hialeah is having the slowest recovery in South Florida in large part because it's adding part-time jobs faster than full-time jobs, at an alarming rate. Hialeah had the fourth worst change in "ratio of part-time to full-time jobs."

“And when households are only making part-time salaries, that has a big impact on the local economy in terms of spending,” says WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Especially when you consider that some of the biggest expenses at the household level are fixed costs like your mortgage or your rent.”

Hialeah ranked 106th on the list.

Below, WalletHub's interactive map showing how cities fared in the study.

Miami’s recovery ranking was bolstered by a few positive shifts, according to Papadimitriou: gains in population, an increase in full-time positions and the fifth-biggest inflow of college-educated workers.

Which might sound weird given South Florida’s history with so-called brain-drain, the of leeching young, educated locals.

“I really think that the old narrative, at least in my own experiences on the ground day-to-day, I sense a real shift,” says Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director at the Knight Foundation.

Knight has made an explicit goal of retaining local talent in South Florida.

“And we actually have a presentation that includes a slide that talks about the problem we’re trying to solve is around ‘brain-drain,’” says Haggman. “I’ve actually been thinking: You know, we should probably remove that slide.”

But the single biggest contribution to Miami’s top-20 rank, according to WalletHub, was crime. Miami had the third biggest drop in violent crime.

“Some people maybe are wondering, 'What does violent crime have to do with, you know, economic conditions,?'” says Papadimitriou. “Well, number one, we all know that when things are not good crime goes up. The other thing is crime is not good for business. And so that’s a really good proxy in understanding how things are looking at the local level.”