Upward trajectory

Dallas muscles onto list of top 20 cities with strongest pandemic economic recovery

Dallas ranks high among top 20 cities for pandemic economic recovery

Dallas skyline
Slowly but surely, things seem to be improving. TREC Dallas/Facebook

Dallas is recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic more robustly than many other big-city counterparts around the United States and in Texas, a new study shows.

Fort Worth is doing even better.

The two cities rank among the top 20 on a new list, published July 29 by financial advice website SmartAsset, of the U.S. cities with the strongest economic recoveries from the pandemic. Dallas lands at No. 19, and Fort Worth, at No. 11. Among the most populous cities in the SmartAsset study, Dallas ranks highest. 

Only one other Texas city, El Paso, appears in the top 20 (No. 8). Salt Lake City, Utah tops the list.

SmartAsset looked at five data points for 49 of the largest U.S. cities to determine the economic winners:

  • Percentage change in consumer spending
  • Percentage change in small businesses that are open
  • Percentage change in small business revenue
  • Percentage change in job postings
  • March 2021 unemployment rate

Dallas performed better than the studywide average in three of the metrics, and Fort Worth, in four (although some of the numbers still look pretty bleak). The DFW stats are:

1. Change in consumer spending (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Dallas: 13.6 percent
  • Fort Worth: 9.3 percent
  • Studywide average: 7.3 percent

2. Change in small businesses open (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Dallas: -27.0 percent
  • Fort Worth: -26.5 percent
  • Studywide average: -32.51 percent

3. Change in small business revenue (January 2020-April 2021)

  • Dallas: -28.2 percent
  • Fort Worth: -22.7 percent
  • Studywide average: -30.9 percent

4. March 2021 unemployment rate

  • Dallas: 6.9 percent
  • Fort Worth: 5.3 percent
  • Studywide average: 6.6 percent

The SmartAsset ranking puts Austin at No. 23 for pandemic economic recovery, San Antonio at No. 38, and Houston at No. 44.

In an effort to further lift the DFW economy, representatives of the Dallas Regional Chamber plan to embark on eight corporate recruitment trips this year, beginning in September.

“Charles Schwab, Salesforce, Copart, McKesson, Kubota, Core-Mark, Active Network, and Louis Vuitton are among many companies now here that we met first and early on road trips,” Mike Rosa, senior vice president of economic development at the Dallas Regional Chamber, wrote in a July 29 blog post. “Successes like these make the long but always direct flights, suitcase living, and hours stuck in worse traffic than ours well worth it … .”