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Valdosta Ranks 51 on National List of Best-Performing Small Cities

December 20, 2013

The Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranked 51 out of 179 cities included in the 2013 Best-Performing Small Cities index, which highlights where America’s jobs are created and sustained. The report was compiled by the Milken Institute, a non-profit, nonpartisan economic think tank that works to advance innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital, and enhance health.

Valdosta vaulted from their 101 ranking in the 2012 report and outranked all other Georgia cities named in the report except one. The nine other Georgia cities that made the 2013 list are Gainesville (49), Hinesville-Fort Stewart (93), Athens-Clarke County (94), Macon (110), Warner Robins (113), Rome (132), Albany (146), Brunswick (158) and Dalton (177).

The report calculated the Best-Performing Cities rankings by measuring job growth, wage and salary growth, short-term growth, short-term job growth, high-tech GDP grown, high-tech DGP concentration, and number of high-tech industries with location quotients (LQ) greater than 1. Valdosta measured up as follows:

  • Ranked 33 in Job Growth from 2011-2012 (up from 128 in Job Growth for years 2007-12)
  • Ranked 84 in Short Term Job Growth (2012-13)
  • Ranked 4 in High Tech GDP Growth (2011-2012)
  • Ranked 76 in High-Tech GDP Concentration (2012)
  • Ranked 13 in Number of High-Tech Industries with LQ greater than 1 (2012) –which measures the industry’s concentration in a particular metro relative to the national average and gauges an area’s participation in the knowledge-based economy.

According to the report, the Best-Performing Cities index was designed to measure objectively which U.S. metropolitan areas are promoting economic vitality based on job creation and retention, the quality of new jobs, and other criteria. The index shows where employment is stable and expanding, wages and salaries are increasing, and economies and businesses are thriving. The goal is to help businesses, investors, government, industry and development agencies monitor and evaluate the performance of metros where they work and do business relative to the rest of the country.

“The Best-Performing Small City acknowledgment is something to celebrate; but more so, it is confirmation that our community is moving in the right direction,” said Mayor John Gayle. “This ranking is reflective of the partnerships of organizations that provide education and skill development, job creation and retention, industry recruitment and all the other key ingredients that promote our economic vitality.”

Click here to link to the full report.

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