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Mon., March 12, 2012, 11:14 a.m.

According to one ranking system, Spokane’s economy is ‘resilient’

Patrick Jones, who heads the Eastern Washington University Community Indicators Project, sent this our way. A University of California Berkeley economics institute has developed what it calls a "resilience capacity index," and it applied the index to cities across the country.

The full report can be found here.

The RCI ranks metros based on a set of factors that reportedly determines a given area's ability to bounce back or recover from economic stresses.  If you look at the jump on this post, you can read the geeky insider stuff on how they measure one ranked metro versus all others.

The bottom line: Spokane does fairly well, ranking No. 85 out of 361 U.S. metros.

Ahead of Spokane from the Northwest are: Seattle at 25; Idaho Falls, 44; Kennewick, 71; BIllings, 75; Bend, 84. Behind Spokane:  Boise, at No. 115.

The SR business pages later this week will take a deeper dive on the RCI and take a look at how accurately it tracks what it says it does.


The RCI ranks metro areas by their overall resilience capacity z-score, a statistic of variance measured in standard deviations away from the metropolitan average (see FAQs for detailed explanation). The RCI then categorizes regions by quintile as having Very High, High, Medium, Low, or Very Low resilience capacity. The top-ranked metropolitan region is Rochester, MN, a region averaging 1.23 standard deviations above the all-metropolitan average in resilience capacity. Ranked lowest is College Station-Bryan, TX, which averages 1.66 standard deviations below the all-metropolitan average for the indicators in the RCI.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.