Best-Performing Cities 2018: Where America’s Jobs Are Created

BPC2018-cover

The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities U.S. index provides a way to measure which American metropolitan areas offer the greatest opportunities for prosperity and innovation across the nation. The BPC index measures each metro area’s economic performance using outcomes-based metrics such as job creation, wage gains, and technological developments to evaluate their relative growth.

The Rankings:

Provo-Orem, UT, holds steady at the top of our index, thanks to a dynamic high-tech sector, an educated workforce, and a business-friendly tax and regulatory climate.

Growth through tech is the reigning theme across America, with Silicon Valley and several of Northern California’s tech-focused metro areas in the top 20. Outside the Golden State, tech hubs such as Austin-Round Rock, TX, Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, and Raleigh, NC, have also leveraged their educated workforces and competitive business climates to generate growth.

Top Ten Best-Performing Cities U.S. 2018

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) / 
Metropolitan Division (MD)

2018 Rank

2017 Rank

Change

Provo-Orem, UT MSA

1

1

Steady

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA

2

11

+9

Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA

3

9

+6

San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA MD

4

4

Steady

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX MD

5

3

-2

Raleigh, NC MSA

6

2

-4

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA

7

7

Steady

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA MD

8

17

+9

Fort Collins, CO MSA

9

5

-4

Salt Lake City, UT MSA

10

10

Steady

For the third year in a row, Bend-Redmond, OR is the top-performing small metro area in the nation with unrivaled job growth that began in the five years ending in 2017.

Key findings:

  • High-tech industries continue to fuel growth in many of the best-performing cities, creating opportunities for highly-skilled workers.
  • Low unemployment rates and a shortage of skilled labor are spurring more competition for knowledge-workers, putting upward pressure on wages in the tech sector and widening the income gap.
  • Top metro areas are enjoying impressive job and wage growth, but many are also seeing housing prices rise sharply.
  • The national economy provides a strong base for regional growth with soaring stock markets, low inflation, and high employment supporting consumer confidence.

Explore the findings: bestcities.org

Published January 24, 2019