Area Development analyzed economic and workforce data for 379 MSAs, producing a snapshot of cities across America that are poised to capitalize on new potential for economic growth as the United States leaves the recession behind. A diversified economic base tops the most desirable traits and Kern County is the leading metro in the Valley and takes the 6th spot in California over cities such as San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Kern County Ranks
Best Metro in Central Valley
for Overall Rank
Metro in U.S. for “Year-over-
Year Growth Cities”
Metro in California
for Economic and Job Growth
Excerpt by, Dale D. Buss, Staff Editor, (Q2 2014)
After five years of the Great Recession and another long period of economic sluggishness, and still fighting the knock-on effects of fiscal restraints, cities and regions across America are honing their approaches to landing new businesses. On the other side of the equation, U.S. and global companies are loosening their purse strings enough these days to offer significantly more economic development prizes.
For this year’s Leading Locations study, Area Development analyzed economic and work force data for 379 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) — both for 2012–2013 and, in some categories, stretching as far back as 2008, the depths of the recession. The goal was to identify which cities across America are emerging as front-runners in this new era of economic development possibilities — and why.
The top MSAs in the list demonstrate that a variety of strong individual drivers, or a combination of many factors, can move a city’s attractiveness as a business site into the foreground. Chief among those drivers for 2014 are the renaissance in domestic manufacturing, the gusher of economic blessings flowing from the fracking revolution in U.S. oil and gas fields, and the spread of America’s high-technology dominance to sparkling new urban epicenters even as the birthplaces of this advantage retain their sheen.
But for most cities, the advantages of the moment aren’t enough alone to sustain long-term success as a site-location beacon. They also must respond effectively to the many factors that affect local and regional economic performance, as well as proactively create healthy business climates for the long run, and invest in that future The locations that best create and sustain such multilevel support not only are best at landing new companies but also excel at supporting local companies and helping them hone their competitiveness with rivals at home and abroad.
|California Cities||Overall Rank||"Prime Workforce" Indicators||"Economic Strength" Indicators||"Year-over-Year Growth Cities" Indicators|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara||1||15||2||7|
|San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City||7||84||5||12|
|San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles||26||64||32||52|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos||100||260||61||116|
|Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta||129||309||77||201|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale||156||152||175||139|
Source: Area Development Site and Facility Planning Online.