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Providence metro area ranks 175 out of 200 ‘best-performing’ metros

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Providence – New Bedford – Fall River metro area ranks No. 175 out of 200 of the U.S.’s “best-performing” cities, according to the Milken Institute’s ranking, which rates highest the areas that minimized job losses and economic dislocations in the midst of a several national recession.

The October 2010 Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth, the economic think tank said. The components are based on job, wage and salary, and technology growth.

Nevertheless, following the recent economic recession, the institute noted the heightened role of cyclical factors in the ranking.

“While the 2010 edition still sheds light on structural factors underpinning the economic growth process, the severity of the recent recession brings more cyclical factors to bear,” said the Milken Institute. “For example, several of this year’s best-performing cities had military bases that benefited from Defense Base Realignment and Consolidation actions.”

Texas did unusually well, claiming 11 of the top 25 spots for best-performing cities. The institute pointed to the Lone Star state’s low reliance on durable goods manufacturing, a low cost of doing business, a favorable business climate, benefits from the BRAC activities, greater reliance on trade with Mexico and South America, and ongoing energy exploration activities and alternative fuels research.

The Providence metro area moved up to No. 175 from No. 187 in 2009. The index showed job growth declined 2.86 percent from April 2009 to April 2010. The area’s overall index value came in at 872.8. All metro index values are benchmarked against the top performer’s rating, which is set at 100, with lower values indicating stronger performance.

Providence’s five-year job growth, from 2004 to 2009, ranked No. 179, while high-tech gross domestic product LQ for 2009 ranked No. 86.

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