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slides: Providence Ranked 148th Best Performing City For Business

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Providence ranks 148th of the 200 large metropolitan areas in the United States for creating and sustaining jobs, according to the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index released this week.

Short-term wage and salary growth have been comparatively stagnant in Providence. But the metropolitan area saw gains in high-tech sector growth over a five-year period, according to the survey.

"The city of Providence continues to evolve as innovative new industries grow here,” said Kathryn Dunkelman, spokeswomen for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “Along with public and private partners, we continue to focus on investments in technology and innovation and recently took the next step in defining our state's unique business to business attributes through GreaterRI.com.”

The city's showing slipped slightly from 2012, when it sat at 130th.

See How New England's Cities Rank In The Slides Below

“We fully anticipate our joint efforts to marry research, technology, and the retention of talented local graduates and entrepreneurs to help improve our ranking, and more importantly our economy, in the future," Dunkelman said in response to the new survey.

Highlights and lowlights in economic survey

One highlight for the capital city came in its five-year high-technology gross domestic product growth component, measuring the high-tech sector's output, which rose year-over-year from 71st to 47th place.

But Providence dropped relative to the national average in other indices. The city's one-year wage and salary growth rank fell from 63rd to 122nd, while its one-year high-tech growth plummeted, falling from 8th place to 147th.

Job and GDP data came from the recent 2012 fiscal year, while wage and salary figures were taken from up to 2011.

Survey methodology

The Milken Institute's “best-performing” cities survey shows where jobs are being created and sustained in metropolitan areas across the nation. The index uses measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros.

The survey's authors said technology and energy were the biggest forces behind the best performers.

"Job creation is the key measure of long-term economic vitality of America's urban areas," according to Ross DeVol, the chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors. "Many of our financial and social challenges can best be addressed by developing local strategies to foster high-quality jobs, and our Best-Performing Cities are showing the way," DeVol said in a prepared statement.

Unlike other "best places" rankings, the institute's survey does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times, housing costs, or crime rates. In the index, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its importance to community vitality, while wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs.

Other regions in New England

Geographic areas are divided along the terms and definitions used by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. In the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River region, that population amounted to 1,601,374.

Among the best performers in the Northeast, the Cambridge-Newton-Framingham region in Massachusetts topped New England at 23rd, down from 8th in 2012.

Boston-Quincy kept its 46th ranking, while the Peabody region northeast of Boston fell from 17th to 50th this year. Worcester came next in New England at 63rd.

Related Slideshow:
New England’s Best Performing Cities 2013: Milken Institute Study

Which cities and metropolitan areas in New England are poised for bright growth prospects? Which lag behind? Below are New England's Best Performing Cities as ranked by The Milken Institute in their national study, "Best-Performing Cities 2013." 

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#13 Norwich-New London CT

Population: 274170

2013 Rank: 187

2012 Rank: 152

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 91

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 179

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 121

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 184

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 200

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 181

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#12 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River RI-MA

Population: 1601374

2013 Rank: 148

2012 Rank: 130

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 144

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 161

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 127

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 122

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 47

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 147

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#11 New Haven-Milford CT

Population: 862813

2013 Rank: 142

2012 Rank: 109

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 124

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 131

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 122

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 149

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 194

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 146

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#10 Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME

Population: 518117

2013 Rank: 137

2012 Rank: 91

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 86

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 165

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 98

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 146

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 101

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 103

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#9 Springfield MA

Population: 697258

2013 Rank: 127

2012 Rank: 154

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 58

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 140

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 108

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 160

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 70

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 34

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#8 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT

Population: 933835

2013 Rank: 106

2012 Rank: 94

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 125

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 132

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 129

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 49

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 183

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 190

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#7 Rockingham County-Strafford County NH

Population: 421939

2013 Rank: 91

2012 Rank: 60

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 66

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 123

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 128

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 106

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 62

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 185

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#6 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT

Population: 1214400

2013 Rank: 85

2012 Rank: 93

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 100

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 136

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 99

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 72

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 77

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 76

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#5 Manchester-Nashua NH

Population: 402922

2013 Rank: 72

2012 Rank: 126

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 123

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 143

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 114

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 41

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 6

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 141

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#4 Worcester MA

Population: 806163

2013 Rank: 63

2012 Rank: 34

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 73

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 166

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 74

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 61

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 55

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 152

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#3 Peabody MA

Population: 755618

2013 Rank: 50

2012 Rank: 17

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 30

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 107

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 54

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 55

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 114

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 184

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#2 Boston-Quincy MA

Population: 1926030

2013 Rank: 46

2012 Rank: 46

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 53

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 100

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 72

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 79

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 34

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 38

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#1 Cambridge-Newton-Framingham MA

Population: 1537215

2013 Rank: 23

2012 Rank: 8

5-yr Job Growth Rank: 38

1-yr Job Growth Rank: 112

5-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 17

1-yr Wage/Salary Growth Rank: 29

5-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 31

1-yr Relative High Tech GDP Growth Rank: 70


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David Beagle

Wouldn't it seem a smidge more appropriate to cut the "best" label, at, oh say the 20th spot in the list then attach "worst" from then on?


Providence Ranked Best Performing City For Crime and Poverty.

Odd Job

Oh, I see how it works.
So, RI is the 50th "Best" for business not #1 on the "Worst" list?

Gary Arnold

"Many of our financial and social challenges can best be addressed by developing local strategies to foster high-quality jobs, and our Best-Performing Cities are showing the way,"
Now for RI, there is no development, planning, vision or local strategy, hence this is why we are where we are.
We do not have the leadership to craft a cohesive plan to make a difference to the RI economy, either short or long term. Until we elect people that understand what it takes to attract and foster business in RI we will not change. It's who you elect that can make the difference and so far I see only Ken Block as a person that has the experience and stated goal of making business building a number 1 priority. He knows and we should understand that it does take business to create jobs that create and economy to allow RI to demand and do better in attracting qualified new players in our politics that will bring in a new culture of success vs. our present self serving culture of taking without adding any value to our state. The present GA is made up of people that are career politicians, union reps and people that are personally in it for THEIR personal gains. These are the wrong folks for RI.

Redd Ratt

Gary, I think that Ken Block has a lot of good ideas. None of which he will be able to get through the GA. I have seen a few interviews and the more I watch him the less and less I see him as an effective executive leader in a state that requires so much cooperation with the legislative branch. The problem with winning elections is that no matter how righteous your cause you are handicapped by the decisions made by political leaders before you. What would make more sense would be for spending contracts to sunset every two terms. That way contracts that seemed reasonable in 1976 don't bankrupt cities in 2013.

joe pregiato

Gary Arnold is spot on! Hey I know what we would win; #1 in public sector jobs!....What a sin; We are educating kids at our fine colleges, from all over the country, we have a bottomless well of educated grads for businesses to employ, and yet we keep just 3 in 10 grads in the state. What a shame.

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