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Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC

Overall rank: 14

Columbia, the state capital and home to the University of South Carolina, has a relatively strong economy. Employment in the Columbia metro peaked in the third quarter of 2007. Gross metropolitan product in the second quarter was down just 2.7% from the peak in the third quarter of last year. Home prices grew 3.5% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. And the unemployment rate in June was 9.8%, up 3.9 points from a year earlier. (Please see below for the various criteria used by the Brookings Institution to determine the overall ranking.)

Job growth (since peak) rank: 17
Gross Metro Product (since peak) rank: 23
Unemployment change (year over year) rank: 54
Home price change (year over year) rank: 6