Best-Performing Cities 2011: Where America’s Jobs Are Created and Sustained

Source: Ross C. DeVol, Armen Bedroussian, and Kevin Klowden with Ka Wai Ho, Milken Institute, December 2011

The annual Best-Performing Cities index provides an objective, comprehensive measure of economic performance across metropolitan areas of the country. As the nation begins to recover from the Great Recession, the underlying structural performance of individual regional economies comes back into focus.

Determining which communities are recovering at the fastest pace and which weathered the recession best provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and related risks. Only a handful of communities have seen employment rebound to prerecession peaks; these regions are poised to capture a bigger share of the impending expansion. We include measures of job, wage, and technology performance over a five-year period to capture the structural elements in our Best-Performing Cities index.

Among this year’s key findings:
• Texas metros continued to dominate the rankings, taking four of the Top 5 positions and nine of the Top
25. Overall, Texas employers were responsible for one of every five jobs created in the nation from June
2010 to June 2011.
• San Antonio, Texas, secured the top spot among the nation’s 200 large metros, while last year’s leader,
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas, slid to fifth.
• Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, was the top performer among the country’s 10 largest metros and
ranked 16th overall.
• Logan, Utah-Idaho, topped the small cities list after placing 19th last year.
• Merced, Calif., recorded the biggest jump in ranking, leaping 105 positions to 63rd.

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