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Sarasota and Orlando best US cities for jobs

Since job creation brings wealth and attracts new residents it’s a key factor in determining the best places to invest in property. Annual listings of the best US cities for jobs therefore provide good insight into top locations for investment. Given Florida’s strong economic recovery and performance over the last few years it’s no surprise to find that Florida metros take 5 out of the top 20 places in the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities 2017.

The Milken Institute publishes its listings annually with the latest for 2017 released at the beginning of this year. The index looks at three decisive factors – job creation, wage growth and technological developments with the objective of ranking the best US cities for jobs.

The main aim of the listings is to help business, investors and the public sector to evaluate a particular metro in terms of “promoting economic vitality relative to the rest of the country”. In terms of property investment, it allows buyers to gauge potential rental on a purchase both for capital appreciation and buy-to-let income.

Best US cities for jobs

Provo-Orem in Utah takes the top position in the best-performing cities last year. Raleigh in North Carolina lies in second place and Dallas in Texas completes the podium. All three showed high ratings on the triple criteria of job creation, wage growth and technological development.
However, although no metro areas in the Sunshine State feature in the top five, Florida ranks as the best state in the top 20. A quarter of the listings are in Florida and the state is also home to 6 of the 25 metros with the highest climbs in the 2017 compared to 2016. They include Palm Bay metro area, which skyrocketed 90 places up the rankings, the highest climb of any US metro.

Sarasota top spot for jobs in 2017

The metro area made up of North Port, Sarasota and Bradenton ranked in sixth position for the best US cities for jobs. It rose by 20 positions on 2016 and ranked sixth in the country for highest job growth over a year. In terms of job creation in the 12 months to August 2017, Sarasota took top position, “beating out economic powerhouses around the country,” says the report.

According to the report, Sarasota has two big assets. Firstly, its natural environment is “a draw for tourists and retirees”. Its second asset – a big consideration for property investment – is the strength of its emerging economy. “There is still much room to grow and improve in our growth-based index,” says the Milken Institute.

Investment in the metro has been intense over the last year. The report cites big infrastructure investment in North Port to the tune of US$1 billion and the area’s proximity to the Tampa metro area, another focal point of job creation in Florida. The Sarasota metro area also benefits from expansion within Southwest Florida from Miami, currently one of the most saturated parts of the county.

Orlando also great for jobs

The Orlando metro area comes close behind Sarasota and takes seventh position in the best US cities for jobs listing. Florida’s tourist capital rose two places compared to 2016 and ranked 12th in the country for employment growth in the year to August 2017.

The Milken Institute highlights Orlando’s “diversifying industry profile”, its large university and “robust in-migration” as the main assets in the area. The report points out that major job creation in 2017 came from expansion at Deloitte and underlines the big investment taking place at the Orange County Convention Centre. The extension into two new buildings over the next two years is costing US$500 million and expected to attract more visitors to the area.

Other Florida hotspots

Completing Florida’s quarter share of the top 20 best places for jobs in US are West Palm Beach in 12th position; Tampa in 14th; and Naples in 18th. The report underlines West Palm Beach’s rise 24 places in the 2017 listing compared to 2016 and the metro area returns to the top 20 best US cities for jobs after 13 years.
Tampa too is one of the biggest movers. The metro area climbed 18 places in the 2017 listings to reach 14th position. The report also highlights Naples as the city with the third highest in the US for employment growth in a year.

(Source: Milken Institute)

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