Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on February 27, 2020
The Phoenix metro ranked No. 12 on a list of the best performing cities in 2020 in an annual report by the Milken Institute.
The Valley climbed eight spots from the previous ranking in 2018 because of job and population growth over recent years. Between 2015-2018, the region saw annual employment growth range from 3% to 3.4%, while total job growth from 2017 to 2018 ranked No. 12 among the largest metropolitan statistical areas. Just this week, new federal data showed that Maricopa County is a leader in job growth among the top 10 largest U.S. counties.
The area saw population grow 2.5% from 2017 to 2018, helping to drive up housing prices.
“Despite this, new home construction and vacant units helped meet new demand and kept the Valley’s housing relatively affordable compared to other big metros,” reported the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.
See which cities ranked in the top 20 across the country in the photo gallery above.
The region also was recognized for its diverse industrial composition. Professional and business services and education and health services account for 32.2% of all employment in 2018. The major financial institutions, insurance companies, airlines and high-tech manufacturing companies add to the area’s diversity and “help the region to maintain a healthy economy,” according to the report.
One regional liability is that average wages are relatively low compared with other metros in the Western U.S.
Prescott fell six places to ranked No. 18 among the nation’s best-performing small cities. It ranked No. 16 in job growth between 2013 and 2018 as well as wage growth from 2012 to 2017.