America’s top performing cities

From our friends at the National Center for Policy Analysis and their awesome digest of policy news, Daily Policy Digest, we have this summary of the Milken Institute’s recently released study of the top performing cities in the US:

NEW REPORT RANKS AMERICA’S TOP-PERFORMING CITIES 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.