LAS VEGAS -- While Las Vegas is making economic progress compared to last year, the metropolitan area is still delivering a mediocre performance when stacked against the world's largest communities, a new Brookings Institution report shows.
The Washington, D.C., think tank reported Thursday night that of the world's 300 largest metropolitan economies, Las Vegas ranked 194th in economic performance since last year. That ranking was based on a 1.1 percent increase in gross domestic product, which represents the value of goods and services produced, and a six-tenths of 1 percent gain in employment.
The metro area's gross domestic product growth exceeded the seven-tenths of 1 percent average gain among the 300 metro areas but Las Vegas remained considerably behind the average 1.4 percent increase in job creation.
Brookings also reported that while Las Vegas has partially recovered from the recession, the metro area continues to lag behind the nation as a whole in gross domestic product and job growth. The think tank pegged Las Vegas metro area's gross domestic product at $94 billion this year, or $47,100 per resident based on a population slightly below 2 million.
Las Vegas, which enjoyed a healthy economy for much of the 1990s, turned in the world's 26th strongest economic performance from 1993 through 2007. Employment rose 5.9 percent and gross domestic product increased by 1.8 percent during that period. But Brookings ranked Las Vegas 298th from 2007 through 2011, with both employment and gross domestic product falling 9.2 percent as a result of the recession.
Of the 76 U.S. metro areas that cracked the world's top 300 list, only Dallas, Pittsburgh and Knoxville, Tenn., have fully recovered from the recession.
Macau, a major gaming center in Asia, topped the Brookings list of economic performers globally with increases of 5.7 percent in employment and 5.1 percent in gross domestic product since last year. The top performing U.S. city over the past year has been Houston, which ranked 40th overall with gains of 3.3 percent in employment and 1.7 percent in gross domestic product.