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Phoenix makes big jump in ranking of best-performing metro areas

(Facebook Photo/@downtownphoenix)

PHOENIX — Phoenix made a big jump in a think tank’s annual ranking of the nation’s best-performing metro areas and cities.

The Milken Institute’s report compared the “economic vitality” of 200 metro areas and 201 cities, examining job growth, wages and technology.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area came in at No. 20 in the metro ranking, a big step up from last year’s No. 40.

The report said the Valley did best when it came to job growth — it ranked 14th for short-term job growth (Aug. 2017 to Aug. 2018), 21st for job growth from 2016 to ’17 and 35th for job growth from 2012 to ’17.

According to the report, these numbers were due to “favorable business conditions” attracting finance and business services like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, and tech companies like Intel.

The report said the area’s demographics — high in retirees — support retail, health care and hospitality industries.

Prescott topped the state in the small cities ranking at No. 12, followed by Lake Havasu City and Kingman (No. 55), Flagstaff (No. 84), Yuma (No. 98) and Sierra Vista and Douglas (No. 182).

Tucson came in at No. 102 for the metro ranking.

The three best-performing metro areas were Provo-Orem, Utah; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.

The three best-performing small cities were Bend-Redmond, Oregon; St. George, Utah; and Gainesville, Georgia.

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