The brief examines employment and establishments for two periods that differed markedly in economic performance: 1998-2000 and 2000-2002. It compares trends in the cities and suburbs of metropolitan areas. It then looks at how the economic performance of ZIP codes varied by resident poverty rates, showing that high-poverty areas had the worst records overall. It next examines differences in economic structure between ZIP codes with concentrated economic activity and residential areas. Finally, the brief compares residential service establishments per capita (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, doctors' offices, and banks) in the different types of areas, finding that high-poverty ZIP codes had fewer service establishments than low-poverty ones for most, but not all, kinds of services.