Grand Rapids, Michigan gained 23 spots on the 2014 Best-Performing Cities index, rising from 48 to 25. Of the top 200 cities, Grand Rapids is the only city in Michigan as well as the Midwest to make the list at all.
Credit goes to Grand Rapids’ manufacturing and continued investments in downtown amenities to bring more highly skilled workers to the city.
“We’re seeing the population growth rate in West Michigan starting to sprint ahead. We’re starting to see the 25- to 30-year-olds want to be here as opposed to moving to Denver,” Paul Isley, an economics professor at Grand Valley State University, said.
The Best-Performing Cities Index keeps track of where jobs are being created and sustained. It measures wage, technology performance, and jobs. Overall, technology and shale energy held the largest contribution to city growth.
“We’re seeing job growth that’s extremely strong and we’re seeing that job growth starting to show up in permanent and good-paying jobs,” Paul Isley said. Data indicates that jobs are returning after the employment rate dropped during this past recession.
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