Take heart, ye boom fatigued. Seattle fell out of the top 10 of the latest Best Performing Cities report from the Milken Institute. It ranks No. 11 for 2014 vs. No. 6 the previous year.
San Francisco came in first, followed by Austin, Provo-Orem, Utah, Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle. Tech centers accounted for 13 of the top 25, while energy, goosed by the shale boom, made up seven. Portland was No. 16, up five from 2013.
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett was cited as among the metros “with dense urban areas, for example, have the innovation advantage: They are able to offset high costs, an unfavorable tax structure, and a burdensome regulatory environment thanks to the clustering of talent and technology in an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Indeed, cheap and “unburdened” by regulation was no guarantee of success: Phoenix, for example, ranked 65. Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., was 199 out of 200. Atlantic City, N.J., with its cratering gambling industry was last.
Interestingly, Seattle ranked 59th in job growth from 2008 through 2013, and 109th in high-tech GDP growth from 2012-2013. Those metrics dragged us down. Seattle came in 9th in wage growth and 4th in high-tech GDP concentration.
Elsewhere in the Northwest, the rankings were Anchorage 74, Boise 81, Eugene 147, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland 75, Olympia 142, Salem 117, Spokane 138, and Tacoma 103.
You can read and download the entire report here.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
The First Rule of Holes
When in a hole, stop digging