Reported GDP in 2009: $276.5 billion
Reported GDP today: $298.3 billion
Unemployment: 7.1%
Population change 2000-10: 4.8%
Judging by the way the Red Sox spent during the offseason, there's no shortage of cash in Greater Boston. Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Boston College and the 48 other colleges and universities in the area provide a healthy job base, as do Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare and the city's sprawling medical community. But the presence of financial companies such as Fidelity Investments and State Street Financial, biotech companies such as Biogen Idec ( BIIB), Genzyme ( GENZ), Sanofi Aventis ( SNy) and Novartis ( AG) and tech companies such as Akamai ( AKAM) helped Greater Boston breeze through the recession and gain population in the process. According to the Brookings Institute's Metro Monitor, Boston actually gained state government jobs during the recession, saw three quarters of consecutive job growth through 2010 and regained more than a quarter of the jobs it lost between its pre-recession high and post-recession low.

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