A new report from the Milken Institute, Best-Performing Cities 2011, finds cities that saw significant improvements to their economic performance between 2010 and 2011 were able to:
- Attract high-tech firms — Fort Collins, CO jumped 47 positions to the third best large metro in 2011 due in part to its ability to attract a significant number of high-tech firms;
- Build effective industry clusters — Charleston, S.C. continued a steady climb among large metros to 11th this year from 30th in 2009 on the shoulders of its aerospace and data-processing services clusters;
- Capitalize on diversified tech-based economies — Salt Lake City jumped from 49th in 2010 to the sixth best large metro in 2011 due to a diverse mix of high-tech industries including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, transportation equipment, computer design and data-processing services;
- Cultivate strong manufacturing cores — Logan, UT jumped from 19 to the number one small city fueled by its manufacturing sectors; and,
- Experience export-driven growth — Los Angeles rose four spots to sixth among the 10 largest metros driven by the resurgence of international trade, especially in the allied product-manufacturing sector.
The Best-Performing Cities index includes measures of job wage, and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas.
The report also contends that the unheralded story of this recovery has been the resurgence in business investment in equipment, especially information technology and software. Several of the best-performing, high tech cities benefited from these investments due to increased international demand for these products, especially from Asia. Diversified tech-based metro economies also saw an increased demand for professional and scientific services.
Export-driven and manufacturing-based metro economies also performed significantly better than their counterparts due to strong foreign and domestic demand for heavy manufacturing equipment and the aforementioned export of IT and software related products. Read the report...