Photo courtesy of Robert Hensley
Throughout the year, Austin has continuously ranked number one on several “best” lists. This time, the city ranked number one on the Best-Performing Cities list released by The Milken Institute. The report measured 200 large cities on several economic factors, specifically job growth and wages, to determine their final rankings. Austin had slipped to number two in 2012, but has regained its top spot with high scores on all the measured factors. Besides ranking as number one overall, Austin ranked 2nd in five-year job growth, 9th in one-year job growth and 11th in five-year wage growth. All of these rankings combined put Austin over the top of other high-profile cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Salt Lake City.
Many of the best-performing metros saw exponential growth in technology and energy fields. Austin has become the new home of several high-profile technology companies like Samsung, Facebook, Apple and IBM. The city has also been a hub for major start-up companies like Indeed.com, Whole Foods and RetailMeNot.com. Austin is a very business-friendly city. Companies from across the country are attracted to the low business taxes and regulations. Austin also ranked as a best-performing city for its ability to create high-quality jobs. Having high-quality employment opportunities helps the city’s wage structures, which led to improving numbers for Austin's five-year wage growth. Austin’s educated workforce further helped secure the number one spot. Having the University of Texas within the city allows local companies to recruit top talent from right in their own backyard.
Overall, the state of Texas had seven cities rank in the top 25 of the best-performing cities. Both Dallas and Houston ranked in the top ten at number seven and number eight, respectively. The cities of San Antonio, Fort Worth, Corpus Christie and Laredo each ranked in the top 25. Rounding out the top ten were the cities of Provo (Utah), San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Boulder and Greenly (Colorado). All of these cities have proven numbers of creating and sustaining jobs, a top factor for ranking as a best-performing city. As 2013 fades into 2014, Austinites can expect to see their city continue to rank highly for its stunning economic growth. 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for the city of Austin.