Florida Metro Areas Tops in U.S. Job Gains

25 02 2006

For the second year in a row, Florida metro areas dominate the top rankings of the Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Index, a measurement of where jobs are being created in America. For 2005, Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville ranks No. 1, followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 2 and Naples-Marco Island in third place. The 2005 winners have similar characteristics: strong and growing service sectors, a robust recovery in tourism, growing populations and an increase in the number of retirees. As evidence, six metros in the top 20 come from the Southwest, including three in California (Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Ana) and two in Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix). The other is Las Vegas.

By comparison, the Midwest has none. The top-rated Midwest metro is Madison, Wis., at 35th. Nine of the bottom 10 spots on the index were from the Midwest — five from Michigan and four from Ohio — reflecting the region’s troubled manufacturing sector. Flint, Mich., is at the bottom at No. 200.

The top 10 performers (with 2004 rankings in parentheses) of the 200 largest metros:

1. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (31); 2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (1); 3. Naples-Marco Island, Fla. (15); 4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (18); 5. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. (5); 6. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. (29); 7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W.Va. (11); 8. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo. (7); 9. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla. (9); and 10. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Ca. (8).

Source: Milken Institute at http://www.milkeninstitute.org



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