Pittsburgh No. 33 on Best-Performers List

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By Randi Petrello

It might have been known as the Steel City in another era, but these days, Pittsburgh is kicking it with the best of U.S. cities. In fact, a recent report lists Pittsburgh among the best-performing cities in the U.S. in 2012.

The Milken Institute placed Pittsburgh at No. 33 among its ranking of 200 largest metropolitan areas. That’s up from No. 37 in 2011.

The Milken report also looked at 179 small metros, using measures such as job, wage and technology performance. The index, which ranks cities based on how well they create and sustain jobs and economic growth, does not consider quality-of-life measures such as cost of living, crime rates and commute times.

Pittsburgh has well established itself as a top metro area. The city ranked No. 33 for five-year job growth from 2006 to 2011; and was No. 32 for one-year job growth from 2010 to 2011. Pittsburgh was No. 32 for one-year wages and salary growth and No. 50 for five-year wages and salary growth.

Silicon Valley performed well on the list, with San Jose, Calif., and the surrounding Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metropolitan area coming in at No. 1. For every job added in the tech sector, five jobs were created in another industry, the report said. Other tech cities among the top performers were Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; and Cambridge, Mass.

"People expect tech to be one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, and it was," said Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors, in a press release.

The report also saw a recovery in traditional manufacturing, such as in the auto industry and mining equipment.

The cities that didn’t do as well were Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., at No. 198, down from No. 197 the year before. Las Vegas saw a 1 percent job growth from May 2011 to May 2012, however the city ranked dead last for wage and salary growth. Modesto, Calif., ranked No. 199 and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., ranked last at No. 200.

First Published March 1, 2013 4:30 PM


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