December 6, 2013

Cover Story

CEO of the Year

Utah’s business landscape is rich with professionals who have le...Read More

Featured Articles

Did you go Skiing this winter?

Around Utah


Martin Plaehn

Karen Sendelback

Legal Briefs
Social Media and Employers: Friends or Enemies?

Money Talk
The Case for HSAs

Economic Insight
Time to Show Up

Lessons Learned
Make a Move

In the Lab

Rent to Own

Business Trends
Back from the Dead

Living Well
Artful Inspiration

A Breath of Fresh Air

Worst-Case Scenario

Regional Report
Northern Utah

Measure Up

Industry Outlook
Travel & Tourism



Provo and Salt Lake Ranked Among Top 5 Best-Performing Cities

Press Release

December 6, 2013

Provo, Salt Lake City — Provo has ranked second in The Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” index.

The index shows that technology and energy are the biggest forces behind America’s booming cities. Austin, Texas, reclaimed the No.1 spot based on a booming technology sector. Similarly, the rest of the top five all enjoy thriving tech sectors: Provo (second, up from seventh last year); San Francisco (third, up from 36th); San Jose (fourth, down from first) and Salt Lake City (fifth, up from sixth).

“Some of the leading tech metros were successful despite being high-cost, high-regulation locations,” said Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors. “Cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Cambridge, Mass., have developed R&D facilities and other infrastructure so it’s easier to innovate there.”

            Provo continued a steady climb, rising five places to second this year. It recorded the highest one-year job growth among its peers in 2012 and the seventh-highest job growth over the year ending in July 2013. Software, anchored by Novell, and computer system design have led the expansion. The backbone of the tech sector is Brigham Young University.

            Salt Lake City edged up one position to fifth. Its success is based on targeted recruitment of large, high-value-added firms (it lured several hundred Goldman Sachs positions) and on startups emerging from local universities. Salt Lake’s economy shows no signs of slowing with recent job growth at fourth and five-year high-tech GDP growth at 10th.

Other cities in the top tier reflect how the surging U.S. energy sector is lighting up local economies. The shale oil and gas boom thrust nine metros into the Top 25, including Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi in Texas, as well as Bakersfield, Calif. In North Dakota, oil production has increased by more than 400 percent from 2007 to 2012, helping place both Fargo and Bismarck in the Top 5 small cities.

In contrast, the Washington, D.C., area plummeted from fifth to 45th, marking the first time since 2008 that the capital hasn’t made the Top 25. “Washington’s recent hothouse growth, fueled by stimulus spending, finally started to cool in 2013,” says DeVol.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Within the top 25 metros, Texas claimed seven spots; Colorado and California notched four each.
  • Columbia, Mo., was the Best-Performing Small City.
  • Biggest gainers include Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.V. (70th, up 100 slots); Tulsa, Okla., (42nd, up from 118th), and Phoenix, (66th, up from 122nd) 

 “Best-Performing Cities” shows where jobs are being created and sustained in metros across the U.S. The index includes measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation’s 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros. Unlike other “best places” rankings, it does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times or housing costs. In the Institute’s index, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality. Wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs created and sustained.

Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Best Companies to Work For 2015Utah Business Event
Dec 10, 2015
Utah Business magazine is thrilled to announce the 2015 Best Companies to Work for Event! This y...
Community Events View All
Empowering Self and Others: Become and Awakener
Dec 1, 2015
Uncover the secrets of empowerment. Whether you are a parent, a teacher or a Coach, you’ll find ...
Secrets to Financing your Business
Dec 1, 2015
Register:  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
* Event Description: