Florida metropolitan areas again scored high in the annual rankings, holding three of the top six spots - including this year's top-ranked metro, Ocala.
But other cities are rising to take some of those top 10 rankings. Nationwide trends influenced many regional shifts, including a rebound in the tech sector, increasing global trade and even the effects of migration as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
The top 10 performers of the 200 largest metros:
1. Ocala, Florida
2. Wilmington, North Carolina
3. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
4. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
5. Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida
6. Naples-Marco Island, Florida
7. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
8. Provo-Orem, Utah
9. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada
10. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
The Best-Performing Cities Index is outcomes-based. Its components measure job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The Index ranks U.S. metros based on their ability to create and sustain jobs. It includes both long-term (five years) and short-term (one year) measurements of employment and salary growth. There are also four measurements of technology output growth, which are included because of technology's crucial role in regional economic growth. This year's Index was sponsored by Greenstreet Real Estate Partners.
The Index enables businesses, industry associations, economic development agencies, investors, academics, governments and public policy groups, to assess and monitor recent metro performance.
The index series has been re-designated to reflect the year that it is released, rather than previous indexes that reflected the year the data was collected. The 2007 Best-Performing Cities Index reflects data collected from 2006. This contrasts with the 2005 Best Performing Cities Index, which reflected data collected in 2005, but was released in 2006. The re-designation merely reflects a change in the title, not a gap in the data.