Best-Performing Cities 2012: Did your town make the list?

21 Jan, 2013

Tech is back. For the first time since 2001, San Jose tops the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities index, which looks at jobs, pay and the technology sector to determine which cities are best at creating and sustaining economic growth. For the second year in a row, Logan, Utah, leads the small cities.

“People expect tech to be one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, and it was,” says Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors. “A perhaps less expected highlight of this year’s rankings is how the national resurgence in manufacturing is reflected in the greatly improved fortune of local economies, especially in the upper Midwest.”

Among this year’s biggest gainers in large metros is Holland-Grand Haven, Mich., leaping 108 places to No. 40. Other Midwestern hotspots include Minneapolis-St. Paul; Gary, Ind.; Warren, Mich.; and Indianapolis. Each city moved up at least 70 spots in this year’s index.

The Best-Performing Cities index includes measures of job, wage, and technology performance to rank the nation’s 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros. Unlike other “best places” rankings, it does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times or housing costs. In the Institute’s index, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality. Wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs created and sustained.

View the report.

Illustration by chanpipat at Free Digital

Compiled from Milken Institute media releases.

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