The U.S. is still building its way out of the Great Recession of the late 2000s. While the signs of economic recovery continue to emerge, some pockets of the United States are thriving. Forbes analyzed the numbers of 401 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. to discern the best career and work business climates. Thanks to attractive workforces and reasonable business costs, some city business climates are doing much better than others.
For the first time, Denver was the top ranked city for businesses and careers. The Denver area is home to 2.8 million people and has an attractively diverse economy. The labor force is highly educated and there is a bounty of outdoor recreational opportunities that make it an appealing area to live and work. Companies are choosing to move to Denver for new options sites and relocation projects. For example, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions is a new technology and solar energy division of Panasonic North America. The new division picked Denver as its primary U.S. innovation and sales hub over 22 other cities. The company president, Jim Doyle, explained that Denver’s proximity to nearby universities, an international airport, and $1.5 million in incentives as key reasons for why they chose the Mile High City. The new hub will create 330 jobs with an average wage of nearly $90,000.
Another industry giant, Lockheed Martin, relocated its commercial space operations headquarters to Denver. The $46 billion-in-sales aerospace and defense contractor has more than 4,500 employees in the Denver area. Barry Noakes, chief engineers for Lockheed’s commercial space business said that, “The great quality of life here makes it easier to attract and retain highly talented people.”
Other top cities include Raleigh, N.C., Portland Oregon, Provo, Utah, and Atlanta Georgia. Rankings included the 200 largest metro areas by population in the United States. The areas were ranked based on factors related to employment, costs of business and living, income growth, quality of life, and the education of the labor force. What was the worst place for business and careers? Atlantic City, New Jersey for the third year in a row. The former gambling and convention hub lost four major casinos last year alone. Atlantic City was joined by Salinas, Bakersfield and Visalia—all in California. Their low rankings are the result of the high cost of doing business, slow income growth, and low levels of educational achievement.
If you’re considering a move for your career or business, and have questions about what you can do financially to plan, contact an advisor at Apex Financial Advisor today! We can help you figure out expenses and plan for the road ahead.