|WCSI Local News|
Columbus has been ranked one of the top American cities when it comes to jobs and economic growth.
The 2013 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranked U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Evaluations included job, wage, and technology growth. Columbus climbed 13 spots to reach second place in this year's U.S. ranking of 179 small metros, driven by the community's Top 10 finishes in one- and five-year job growth, one-year wage growth, and one-year high-tech GDP growth.
"Job creation is the key measure of long-term economic vitality of America's urban areas," says Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors. "Many of our financial and social challenges can best be addressed by developing local strategies to foster high-quality jobs, and our Best-Performing Cities are showing the way."
The index ranked the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros. According to a release by the Institute, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality, and wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs created and sustained. The Columbus metro area, which includes all of Bartholomew County, scored high in each of these categories and relative to previous years, growth in "high-tech industry" output also elevated the community's number two ranking.
"Impartial, national-level rankings such as these help us tell the story that Columbus and Bartholomew County, Indiana, is a great place to do business," says Jason Hester, executive director of the Columbus Economic Development Board.
"The tremendous manufacturing, engineering, and design strengths of our employers and regional workforce are greatly boosting our local economy," says Hester. "With one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. driven 86 percent by durable goods manufacturing last year, companies involved in advanced high-tech manufacturing, R&D, and HQ/back-office operations are finding Columbus, Indiana, to be a place that offers the resources and environment they need for success."
Hester adds that Columbus was one of only two Indiana cities to be ranked in the top 20 this year's report. The other was Lafayette. He also noted that the latest unemployment data shows Columbus/Bartholomew County has reached a new record employment level of 41,402, marking the fourth month in a row that employment surpassed 40,000 persons locally. The November unemployment rate for the area stood at 5.3 percent vs. 7.2 percent for Indiana.
The Milken Institute data for all metros and a copy of the report is available on the "Best-Performing Cities" website at http://www.best-cities.org/.
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 6:41:18 AM
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