The Milken Institute recently released its rankings of the Best Performing Cities in 2012. The Best Performing Cities Index attempts to gauge the level of economic vitality in a metropolitan region based on growth in jobs, wages, and high-tech output, as well as the concentration of high-tech output and technology-intensive industries. According to the report, the results for 2012 show “where America’s jobs are created and sustained”. Which metro areas in the U.S. are leading the way in terms of successfully promoting a technology-driven economy? Which metro areas in North Carolina made the top 25 for 2012, and why?
Nationally, the top performer is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA. This region, known as the Silicon Valley, jumped 50 spots from last year to take its perch atop the rankings. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX comes in second place. Two North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are ranked in the top 25 among large regions: Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill. Raleigh-Cary is ranked third, up 11 spots from 2011 and Durham-Chapel Hill moved up 12 spots to number 21. The report notes that Raleigh-Cary has benefited from increased spending nationally on information technology and continues to attract a highly skilled workforce. Durham-Chapel Hill’s gains have been fueled by strong wage growth and having the fourth highest concentration of technology output in the U.S.