Tourists and tech make Austin a top city for jobs


What drives the economic momentum of the most dynamic metros in the United States? Each year,
the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities report identi es the latest trends and most relevant factors powering regional growth. Our index uses a comprehensive, fact-based set of criteria to rank the nation’s metropolitan areas. Among them are job creation, wage gains, and technology trends that shape current and potential patterns of growth. For metros looking to craft cohesive economic strategies, the report provides valuable data and insight.
Here are highlights of the 2015 rankings:
» San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, reclaimed the No. 1 spot among large metros after having placed No. 4 for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). Research, patenting, and commercial application aided by early-stage risk capital are key elements of this metro’s thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurship.
» California secured six of the Top 25 slots among large metros, the most in any one state. Four of them are in the tech-driven San Francisco Bay Area.
» Colorado captured four spots in the Top 25 large metros, while Texas has three (compared with seven in 2014). Several Texas metros fell in the rankings because of the slowdown in shale-oil exploration. Nevertheless, the state still posted a strong showing, with two metros in the Top 5: Austin-Round Rock and Dallas-Plano-Irving.
» Southern states (excluding Texas) held six Top 25 slots, with Raleigh, NC, leading them at No. 6. Madison, WI, and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, are the only two Midwestern metros in the Top 25.
» Fargo, ND-MN, retained its No. 1 position among small metros for a second year. Its well-diversi ed economy with strength in nance, insurance, health care, and higher education helped offset declines in shale-oil exploration.
» Eight of the 25 biggest gainers were Florida metros, with Port St. Lucie climbing 98 spots from last year, the most of any metro. It placed No. 80 among large metros, aided by an in ux of retirees and an increase in tourism.

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