While the U.S. economy has bounced back, some cities are doing better than others. Financial advisors looking for a place to set up shop might want to take bank robber Willie Sutton’s advice and go where the money is.
Fortunately, the Milken Institute has used a data-driven formula to rank U.S. cities. Milken divided cities into large and small and used growth in jobs and wages and the robustness of high-tech industries as key benchmarks in its formula. Growth rates are indexed against a national average of 100.
The Milken report notes that job and wage growth contributes mightily to a community’s health. The housing market has rebounded from the bursting of the bubble, Milken said.
High-tech industry was key for many cities and, amazingly, the decline in the oil boom didn’t keep cities seemingly reliant on that industry from continuing to grow.
Check out the Top 10 Large Cities for Economic Growth.
Keep reading for Milken’s Top 10 Small Cities for Job and Pay Growth:
10. Auburn-Opelika, Alabama.
2014 Rank: 10th
5-Year Job Growth: 107.09 (11th)
1-Year Job Growth: 101.13 (25th)
5-year Pay Growth: 101.37 (61st)
1-Year Pay Growth: 101.28 (16th)
Overall Index: 154
Takeaway: A strong job market fueled in part by the needs of a growing Auburn University helped the area of 154,000 stay at No. 10.
9. Logan, Utah-Idaho
2014 Rank: 35th
5-Year Job Growth: 103.07 (23rd)
1-Year Job Growth: 101.03 (28th)
5-year Pay Growth: 102.73 (52nd)
1-Year Pay Growth: 101.66 (36th)
Overall Index: 146
Takeaway: A relatively new tech sector added to the dairy and animal processing businesses that account for a third of all jobs in the area of 131,000.
8. Bend-Redmond, Oregon
2014 Rank: 46th
5-Year Job Growth: 105.18 (15th)
1-Year Job Growth: 104.05 (3rd)
5-year Pay Growth: 94.21 (160th)
1-Year Pay Growth: 104.73 (6th)
Overall Index: 138
Takeaway: The metro region jumped 38 spots this year, led by its tourism industry, which is the backbone for the area of 170,000.
7. Columbus, Indiana
2014 Rank: 2nd
5-Year Job Growth: 113.12 (5th)
1-Year Job Growth: 101.37 (23rd
5-year Pay Growth: 108.91 (14th)
1-Year Pay Growth: 97.05 (178th)
Overall Index: 135
Takeaway: Despite falling five spots this year, the city of 80,000 continued to have strong manufacturing job growth, as well the need for support services in that sector.
6. The Villages, Florida
2014 Rank: Unranked
5-Year Job Growth: 113.33 (4th)
1-Year Job Growth: 102.81 (8th)
5-year Pay Growth: 132.43 (2nd)
1-Year Pay Growth: 109.35 (1st)