Coronavirus Comeback

Fort Worth muscles to No. 11 among top cities with strongest COVID economic recovery

Fort Worth ranks No. 11 among top cities for COVID economic recovery

Fort Worth cityscape with Seventh Street Bridge
Slowly but surely, things seem to be improving. Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Getty Images

Fort Worth is recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic more robustly than most other big cities around the United States and in Texas, a new study shows.

Dallas isn't too far behind.

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. Fort Worth lands at No. 11, and Dallas, at No. 19. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. March 2021 unemployment rate

  • Fort Worth: 5.3 percent
  • Dallas: 6.9 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.

"With more than 40 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated (according to New York Times data as of June 15), the economies of many cities have started rebounding at a faster pace," SmartAsset says. "However, the rebound has not occurred at the same rate nationwide. Factors like vaccination rates, public spending, poverty rates, tax revenu,e and politics have contributed to varying rates of recovery."