Good News Friday - March 23, 2012

Good News Friday

Ranking Cities

My colleague David Bailey has sent me a handful of reports and blog postings recently that rank metropolitan areas in terms of job creation, population migration and well-being. There is some overlap among the results and also some surprises.

· The Urbanophile blog lists year-over-year job growth for metro areas with populations of at least 1 million, calculated by the annual average, i.e. the average of the 12 monthly releases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2011 compared with 2010. This smooths out the volatility in the monthly data. Eight of the top 10 performers are in the South and West, led by Austin, Texas, while the other two, Detroit and Pittsburgh, are in the recovering Rust Belt, which is a misnomer considering the incredible 25-year restructuring of the nation's manufacturing sector. Click here to view the list, and click here to view related commentary from Richard Florida, the noted urban expert.

· Penske Truck Rental compiles a list of the top 10 destinations for people renting its trucks. Nine of the 10 metros are in the West and South, led by Atlanta, which is surprising because Atlanta's recovery has lagged other metro areas by a wide margin. Chicago is the only northern city to make the list. Click here to view Penske's rankings.

· Finally, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® measures "life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and basic access." The top two states are Hawaii (of course) and North Dakota (hmmm…). Led by San Jose, metro areas in the South and West captured seven of the top 10 slots. Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Rochester, N.Y. (double hmmm…) filled out the top 10. Click here to view the website and download the full report.

Since Good News Friday strives to be true to its name, I will not enumerate the worst performing metros, but you can click on the links above to figure out the laggards.

Have a great weekend.

Best regards,

Robert Bach
SVP, Chief Economist
Grubb & Ellis