Beneath the murky waters of ‘recovery’ lie new contours of an economy defined as much by job gains as by slow productivity growth, suppressed wages and stubborn unemployment.

To better understand the specific impacts of unequal recovery for those in cities and the policy implications for city leaders, the National League of Cities (NLC) conducted the Local Economic Conditions Survey 2015 of chief elected officials to gauge the performance of key local economic indicators.

This analysis, Cities and Unequal Recovery, is based on the survey and offers a place-based perspective on economic recovery from the unique vantage point of those who are held most accountable for prosperity and equity in cities: chief elected officials.

Key Findings


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The survey also shed light on the most impactful economic factors for cities:

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This year’s survey demonstrates that there are two different storylines playing out in cities: economic conditions are improving for some, but worsening for others. This is troubling both socially and economically, making an even stronger case for inclusive growth policies that move the needle towards equity in our nation’s cities.

Read the previous Local Economic Conditions report, published in 2013.