I've written repeatedly about how spiky America's economic geography is. In the years since the economic crisis, this has only become more true, as powerhouse metros like San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., continue to grow in importance. In 2012, the top ten largest metropolitan economies produced more than a third of the country's total economic output.
Economists of all stripes agree the single most important barometer of economic growth is productivity. As part of my recent essay in The Atlantic, my team at the Martin Prosperity Institute ran the numbers on productivity — measured as per capita real economic output or GDP — based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.