The Provo, Utah, area was ranked as the best-performing economy among large U.S. metro areas in 2017 as a reshuffling saw Florida and other Southern enclaves rise while California lost some of its luster, according to the Milken Institute.
“You saw that some of the coastal metro areas driven by technology are beginning to slow slightly, and you’re seeing more growth in Raleigh and Dallas, which have competitive business climates and very highly educated work forces,” says Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken’s director of regional economics research.
California is suffering from climbing business costs, such as labor and rent, while places such as Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas are benefiting from lower expenses and a business-friendly environment.
California still boasts four of the top 25 metro areas in economic prowess, but that’s down from six in 2016. And Florida now claims six of the top 25 spots, with several among the biggest gainers in rank from 2016.
Milken ranked the cities based on job growth during the 12 months ending last August and over the past six years. It also ranked the cities on wage growth and high-tech output in recent years.
Here’s a look at the three best-performing large cities last year:
• 1. Provo, Utah. The region has become a technology hotbed, adding 5,500 jobs from 2011 to 2016. The hub is anchored by Adobe’s digital marketing unit, which employs more than 1,200. In 2017, the company said it would build a second facility next door, housing another 1,260 workers. Meanwhile, Brigham Young University provides a major pipeline of workers and start-ups. The university has spawned several tech ventures, including enterprise software firm Qualtrics, which is valued at $2.5 billion.
• 2. Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina State University is a centerpiece of the Research Triangle, and it includes more than 75 research centers that partner with businesses, non-profits and government agencies in the area. SAS, a software firm that came out of the university system, last year announced new artificial intelligence capabilities, and the software publishing industry has added 2,500 jobs the past five years. In that period, computer and electronics manufacturing has doubled its workforce to 11,900. And businesses are attracted by low costs. Credit Suisse announced in May it would create 1,200 jobs in Raleigh over the next several years, with some moving from New York.
• 3. Dallas. Already a popular headquarters location for companies such as Exxon Mobil, AT&T and Southwest Airlines, the region added more than 50,000 high-skilled jobs from 2011 to 2016 in the professional, scientific and technical sectors. The region’s population has exploded, with 58,600 more people arriving instead of leaving in 2016, pushing up housing costs. Texas Instruments has benefited from increased demand for automotive semiconductor chips.
Bottom Line: The Provo area is hot and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Red Sign can help you get in so let’s talk!