Houston moving on up list of Best Performing CitiesThe Milken Institute recently released their 2007 list of Best Performing Cities, based mostly on job and salary growth, and Houston has moved on up from #129 to #32 out of 200 cities since 2005. 32 may not sound great, but that's partly a reflection of them focusing on job growth, and, on a percentage basis, it's very hard for a mega-city like Houston to compete with fast-growing smaller cities. The move up of 97 places is the fourth biggest move in the list, and the most of any large city, behind 3 small cities under 500,000 people each.
When you rank the metros by population, we're the #3 performer out of the 25 largest. Only Phoenix and Riverside-SB rank higher, and their data is before the real estate bust, where they are two of the hardest hit cities. I would expect them to fall sharply in future rankings. On the other hand, since their 5-year block of data includes only the early part of the oil boom, I would expect us to keep moving up strongly in future rankings.
Here are a couple Houston excerpts from the report:
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown has experienced tremendous post-Katrina population growth. Industries that support the energy sector, such as fabricated metal and related machinery manufacturing, have also been positively affected.You can play with sorting the rankings yourself here, or check out the full report here.
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, moves up to 3rd place among the ten largest metropolitan economies, a jump from 8th last year. Even more impressive, Houston leaped ninety-seven spots among the 200 largest metros, to 32nd overall in 2007. The resurgence in oil and gas markets has increased demand for its world-class energy exploration firms. A surge in international demand for oil exploration equipment is propelling fabricated metals and machinery, and the attendant engineering services. Houston’s economic expansion accelerated in 2006 as jobs rose by 4.1 percent. The quality of the jobs generated in the energy exploration sector is manifest in the 9.0 percent gain in personal income in 2006. Some of the growth is attributable to payouts to Katrina victims. International trade is booming through its port, and related logistic support functions are the beneficiaries. The first phase of the new Bayport Container Terminal will increase container processing capacity significantly. Houston has a low cost of living, favorable business costs, and a pro-business culture that aids economic development. Strong job growth, coupled with only a modest increase in new home construction over the past few years, will mitigate potential fallout from the housing retrenchment. Houston has an important medical research and delivery presence with MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and several prominent hospital groups.