Cities in the Mountain West are seeing some of the strongest economic growth in the nation. That’s according to an annual analysis by the Milken Institute.
Two communities in Utah ranked in the top 10 for best performing cities — the Provo-Orem area ranked number one, and Salt Lake City number 10. Boise wasn’t far behind at number 12.
The annual assessment analyzes wage growth, number of jobs and growth in the tech sector to develop the ranking. So cities that are adding high-wage jobs tend to rank higher.
Minoli Ratnatunga is with the Milken Institute, a nonprofit economic think tank. She says tech companies are paying attention to the lower cost of living in many Mountain West cities.
"As tech companies and other established industries have been looking to grow outside of the expensive coast cities, the mix of a high quality of life and high amenities along with the access to a qualified workforce has been very attractive," says Ratnatunga.
Montana and Wyoming haven’t seen as strong of growth in the tech sector in recent years, so cities there tend to rank lower on the list. The top-ranking cities tended to see growth well above the national average.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.