In the new Best Performing Cities 2013 report from the Milken Institute, Seattle comes in at No. 6, up seven places from its rank in 2012. Our strength, at least by this reports metrics, are tech and airplanes.
Job growth didn’t get us there. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett ranked 68th in job creation from 2007 to 2012, and 28th from 2011 to 2012. In wage growth, we were 36th from 2006 to 2011 and 15th from 2010 to 2011. However, the metropolitan area stood at 5th in high-tech GDP concentration.
Our strengths: “Strong tech industry concentration (nearly three times the national average)…Greater demand for commercial aircraft in China should boost the metro’s aerospace industry.”
Liabilities: “Weaker spending on business equipment and software will lower demand for tech and software products”
The report doesn’t take account of the 777X and the aerospace cluster’s longer-term future. This, combined with smoothing out the 787, is no small thing. The report notes that aerospace added 7,000 high-skilled manufacturing jobs in 2011-2012. With Boeing already moving jobs, the region can’t count on this boost in the future.
The other top 10: Austin, Provo, Utah, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, Boulder and Greeley, Colo. Portland ranks 21st, down two from the previous year. Boise was 73, up 13 spots. Spokane ranked 74, a big leap from the previous year’s 161. The report summarizes:
Technology and energy were the forces powering this year’s top performers, even more so than in 2012.Of course, tech firms didn’t just fall from the sky; the leading tech metros cultivated these assets through indigenous innovation and strategic recruitment. Some were successful despite being high-cost, high-regulation locations.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
The taper is on
The stock market doesn’t ebb
The lemmings jump in