We may be fat and lazy, but by Golly we’re the 4th best place in the US for business and careers

Yep that’s right.  Forbes – which is as we know nothing but honest and dead on about the issues we face – has looked around the country and placed lil’ ole’ us in the 4 hole as a great place for business and careers.

Sure, we’re not Raleigh, Des Moines, or Provo (top 3) but we can hold our heads up that we are ahead of Fort Collins, Nashville, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, and Dallas.  Wow – pretty hip company.

Here’s the methodology – read the whole report here:

Our ranking of Best Places looks at the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. These range in size from the New York City metro, with to 11.6 million people, to Laredo, Texas, home to 252,000 people (click here for a list of the Best Small Places for Business). We consider 12 metrics relating to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth, educational attainment and projected economic growth.

We also factor in quality of life issues like crime rates, cultural and recreational opportunities and net migration patterns. Lastly we included the number of highly ranked colleges in an area per our annual college rankings. A tip of the cap to Moody’s Economy.com, which provided much of the data, including the economic forecasts. Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces, put together a culture and leisure index for Forbes and also crunched the crime numbers for us. College attainment data is compiled by the Census Bureau.

The real interest to me is this:  if we’re such a great place for business and careers, why aren’t we growing well paying jobs or even not so well paying ones?  We know we aren’t by simply looking at our city budget which relies enormously on payroll taxes.  If we had an influx of high paying jobs, or even a lot of low paying jobs, we wouldn’t be in this situation: after decades of growth, the city is “broke.”

From the HL about the 2012 city budget:  Lawless cast a “no” vote because, while there are “some good and worthwhile projects in the budget, we cannot afford them now… we are broke,” she said.

Where are the real jobs?  Will this Forbes magic make it rain here?

Here’s some interesting numbers to be parsed from the Forbes Rankings

Top 10 cities for Business and Careers

  1. Raleigh
  2. Des Moines
  3. Provo
  4. Lexington
  5. Fort Collins
  6. Nashville
  7. Austin
  8. San Antonio
  9. Denver
  10. Dallas

2010 Job Growth of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses

  1. Austin (3)
  2. San Antonio (8)
  3. Raleigh (11)
  4. Provo (16)
  5. Dallas (19)
  6. Des Moines (23)
  7. Fort Collins (31)
  8. Denver (50)
  9. Nashville (54)
  10. Lexington (96)

Projected 2 years “economic growth” ranking of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities  in parentheses

  1. Austin (2)
  2. Dallas (6)
  3. Provo (31)
  4. San Antonio (43)
  5. Raleigh (45)
  6. Fort Collins (50)
  7. Nashville (61)
  8. Denver (68)
  9. Des Moines (76)
  10. Lexington (101)

Projected Job Growth to 2013 of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses

  1. Dallas (4)
  2. Lexington (5)
  3. Raleigh (12)
  4. Austin (14)
  5. San Antonio (18)
  6. Fort Collins (37)
  7. Des Moines (38)
  8. Nashville (42)
  9. Provo (67)
  10. Denver (85)

Cost of Business Rank of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses

  1. San Antonio (21)
  2. Raleigh (29)
  3. Nashville (32)
  4. Provo (33)
  5. Des Moines (37)
  6. Lexington (43)
  7. Fort Collins (67)
  8. Denver (130)
  9. Dallas (160)
  10. Austin (165)

Income Growth 2005-2010 of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses

  1. Lexington (18)
  2. San Antonio (23)
  3. Austin (29)
  4. Dallas (62)
  5. Fort Collins (81)
  6. Des Moines (86)
  7. Nashville (92)
  8. Provo (100)
  9. Denver (106)
  10. Raleigh (119)

Cost of Living of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses –100 is considered average

  1. Des Moines (92)
  2. Provo (92.5)
  3. Lexington (93.3)
  4. Fort Collins (93.8)
  5. San Antonio (98)
  6. Nashville (102)
  7. Denver (103)
  8. Raleigh (104.4)
  9. Dallas (105)
  10. Austin (107.9)

2010 Unemployment Rate of top 10

  1. Des Moines (6.1%)
  2. Austin (6.5%)
  3. Fort Collins (6.7%)
  4. San Antonio (7%)  Provo (7%)

6        Raleigh (7.7%)       Dallas (7.7%)

8    Lexington (8.0%)

9        Denver (8.3%)

10. Nashville (8.7%)

Education Rank (% of residents with college+) of top 10 with overall rank out of 200 cities in parentheses

  1. Raleigh 42.2% (10)
  2. Fort Collins 41% (12)
  3. Austin 38.7% (16)
  4. Denver 37.6% (19)
  5. Lexington 34.5% (34)
  6. Des Moines 33.8% (41)
  7. Provo 33.3% (44)
  8. Dallas 32% (54)
  9. Nashville 31% (64)
  10. San Antonio 24.8% (133)

2010 Median Household Income of top 10

  1. Raleigh $60,618
  2. Austin $57,796
  3. Des Moines $57,355
  4. Denver $57,214
  5. Dallas $56,992
  6. Provo $56,805
  7. Fort Collins $53,329
  8. Nashville $51,117
  9. Lexington $50,381
  10. San Antonio $48,975
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