Picking up Steam in 2014 – America’s Ten Hottest Metropolitan Areas Roll On
Once unsurpassed powerhouses of growth and prosperity, America’s three largest metropolitan areas –New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles — are now overshadowed by booming metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) throughout the country. No longer are the hubs of economic expansion located primarily along the America’s northeast or western coastlines; rather, these economic engines are in areas once ignored and passed off as second-rate towns, located in those non-descript “fly-over” states. Today the new bastions of growth, based on many factors (including pro-business administrations, abundant natural resources, low taxes, and increases in GDP, as well as unemployment rates significantly below the national average of 7.3%), are located in some of these very states.
It should come as no surprise that four of the top ten metropolitan areas, as compiled by Forbes.com, are located in the State of Texas. After all, Texas is one of only nine states with no personal income tax, and it gained $24.9 billion in migrated wealth from high-tax states between 1992 and 2010. It also ranks as the number-one state for doing business year after year. Let’s review the Forbes list.
- It seems only appropriate, then, that the MSA in first place would be the Lone Star State capital, Austin. Between 2007 and 2013, the Austin MSA has had a GDP growth rate of 21.7 percent, and a job growth rate of 11.8 percent. Austin’s unemployment rate stands at only 5.5 percent.
- The San Antonio (TX) MSA, over this same period, had a GDP growth rate of 11.2 percent, a job growth rate of 6.2 percent, and also a 6.2 percent unemployment rate.
- The Salt Lake City(UT) MSA had a GDP growth rate of 10.7%, a job growth rate of 3.7%, and an unemployment rate of just 4.4%.
- The Houston (TX) MSA, over the same period of time, had a GDP growth rate of 12.3%, job growth of 9.2%, and an unemployment rate of 6.3%.
- The Nashville (TN) MSA, home of country music and no state income tax, had a GDP growth rate 11.5%, job growth of 6.5%, and an unemployment rate of 6.7%.
- The Dallas (TX) MSA had a GDP growth rate of 9.3%, job growth of 6.4%, and an unemployment rate of 6.2%.
- The Denver (CO) MSA had a GDP growth rate of 9.3%, job growth of 6.4%, and an unemployment rate of 6.2%.
- Oklahoma City (OK) had a GDP growth rate of 9.2%, a job growth rate of 5.3%, and an unemployment rate of only 5.1%.
- Raleigh (NC) had a GDP gain of 8.9%, job growth of 2.9%, and an unemployment rate of 6.8%
- And finally, San Jose (CA) had a GDP growth rate of 15.3%, job growth of 2.6%, and an unemployment rate of 6.7%.
In each of these areas, we can find a core industry that attracts the most talented workers and energizes the growth of the MSA. As you would guess for the four Texas MSAs, that industry would be energy production. Salt Lake City, Denver and Oklahoma City are all rapidly growing tech centers. Nashville attracts the best and brightest with its world-renowned medical research hub. As the home of Research Triangle Park, Raleigh is at the epicenter of technical R&D innovation. Over 170 global companies are headquartered here. So while pundits in the major metropolitan areas may shrug, these regions of the country are the ones driving America’s growth for 2014 and beyond.