Grand Junction ranks 3rd best in business

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Best cities to do business

Top 10 small metro areas

1. Midland, Texas

2. Longview, Texas

3. Grand Junction

4. Tyler, Texas

5. Odessa, Texas

6. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash.

7. Bismarck, N.D.

8. Warner Robins, Ga.

9. Las Cruces, N.M.

10. Fargo, North Dakota-Minn.

Large metros:

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

2. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas

3. Salt Lake City

4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas

5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas

6. Durham, N.C.

7. Olympia, Wash.

8. Huntsville, Ala.

9. Lafayette, La.

10. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

Source: Milken Institute



A 2009 ranking of 124 small metropolitan areas recently ranked Grand Junction as the third best performing small city in the United States.

The Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners study “ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth,” according to the Milken Institute’s Web site.

Most of the data relies on information before 2009, when Grand Junction really began to sink into the nationwide recession. Still, Ann Driggers, CEO and President of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, said her office has received more inquiries for information about moving to or expanding in the city in 2009 than it did in 2008.

“When you look how we compare to other communities in the country, we still perform pretty well,” Driggers said.

Grand Junction rose from fifth place in 2008 to third this year in large part because of job growth. The city ranked second among small metropolitan areas for job growth between March 2008 and March 2009. The city had 2.47 percent job growth in that time.

Odessa, Texas, came in first with 3.25 percent job growth during that period.

Grand Junction ranked fourth for job growth between 2007 and 2008, and fifth for job growth between 2003 and 2008.

The city also did well in wage and salary growth categories, coming in sixth place for pay increases between 2006 and 2007 and ninth for pay increases between 2002 and 2007.

Although salaries went up in the city during most of the decade, the picture was not so pretty statewide in 2009.

Personal income in Colorado dipped in the first and second quarters of the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Local personal income data for 2009 will be released early next year by the bureau.

Metropolitan areas also were ranked based on high-tech GDP growth.

Grand Junction didn’t do as well in this category, ranking 66th in relative high-tech GDP growth from 2007 to 2008 and 74th in high-tech GDP growth from 2003 to 2008.

The Milken/Greenstreet study also listed the 200 best performing large metropolitan areas. Austin-Round Rock, Texas, topped the list. Flint, Mich., was in last place.

Five Colorado cities appeared in the large metropolitan area listing, with Greeley coming in 20th, Fort Collins-Loveland coming in 22nd, Boulder placing 44th, Denver-Aurora was in 55th place, and Colorado Springs placing 101st. Pueblo ranked 33rd in the small metropolitan area list.

Jackson, Miss., rounded out the bottom of the small cities list.


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