NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 12, 2008

What are America's best-performing cities?  Cities with strong technology, energy and trade sectors lead the nation in job creation, according to a report released today by the Milken Institute and Greenstreet Real Estate Partners.

In the 2008 Best-Performing Cities Index, Provo, Utah, leads the rankings, which are dominated by thriving metro areas in Texas, Washington, Utah, Alabama and the Carolinas.

The annual index provides a snapshot of where America's jobs are being created and sustained. It factors in both long- and short-term indicators of employment and salary growth, as well as technology output measurements.

The 2008 results reveal a broad rebound in the technology sector, plus strong activity in exports and energy production:

  • The top cities, one through five respectively, with their 2007 rankings in parentheses are: Provo-Orem, Utah (8); Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina (10); Salt Lake City, Utah (18); Austin-Round Rock, Texas (20) and Huntsville, Alabama (16).
  • The top cities, six through 10 respectively, with their 2007 rankings in parentheses are: Wilmington, North Carolina (2); McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (7); Tacoma, Washington (50); Olympia, Washington (37 in the 2007 ranking of small metros); and Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina (12).

Several metros that once topped the rankings fell due to a sharp downturn in their housing and construction markets; formerly booming locations in Florida and California took particularly significant hits. Cities in the industrial Midwest that depend on manufacturing also continue to suffer a long-term decline.

Source: Ross DeVol, Armen Bedroussian, Kevin Klowden and Soojung Kim, "Best-Performing Cities 2008: Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained," Milken Institute, September 10, 2008.


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