Iowa City MSA among Top 100 for Business Location6/27/2012
The Iowa City MSA was ranked number 90 overall and number 26 among “small-size” communities in the most recent Leading Locations list released by Area Development magazine. The Iowa City MSA includes Johnson and Washington counties.
Area Development ranked 365 metropolitan survey areas (MSAs) across 23 economic and workforce indicators, including unemployment rate, wage and salary growth, job growth and per capita GDP.
These indicators were compiled using data sets originating from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census American Community Survey.
Mark Nolte, interim ICAD Group president, says the blend of business, industry, new companies and the university all contribute to the region’s success. “The strength of this economy is diversity,” said Nolte. “Our region has been able to weather some tough economic times and still consistently performs well thanks to a cross section of strong companies, new ideas, and the University of Iowa.”
"The Leading Locations are MSAs that have managed to thrive and get back on their feet quickly after the recession," said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “These MSAs are leaders based on their economic strengths; growth of their young, educated work forces; and recession-busting characteristics. They deserve special recognition for their efforts.”
Ed Raber, Director of the Washington Economic Development Group in Washington, Iowa, said the ranking helps make the case for business development in this area. “As we work to create and promote an environment for economic development in our counties, this ranking helps tell our story,” said Raber. “We can show all of the same facts and figures, but when a leading industry publication starts ranking metros, people notice.”
Four other Iowa markets were on this year’s Leading Locations list, including Ames, Dubuque, Des Moines-West Des Moines, and Waterloo-Cedar Falls. Dubuque was the highest ranked Iowa metro.
Area Development also categorized communities based on specific indicator groupings and generated lists based in three areas: “Prime Work Force,” “Economic Strength,“ and “Recession Busting Cities.” The Iowa City MSA posted robust numbers in employment growth, per capita GDP and manufacturing, and secured a space in the Top 25 in the Economic Strength category.
The full report on the Leading Locations will be published this summer and posted on the Area Development website.