Nathan Stubbs

Lafayette among Best Performing Cities

by Nathan Stubbs

Lafayette has moved up 10 spots to rank 14th in the Milkin Institute’s newly-released report, “Best Performing Cities 2008: Where America’s jobs are created and sustained.” Lafayette again topped all other Louisiana cities in the annual rankings, which are weighted heavily for job and income growth, especially in the technology sector. The report’s best performing city was Provo, Utah, one of the few municipalities to have installed a citywide fiber-to-the-home network (which Lafayette is now building) and the home of Brigham Young University. On Lafayette, the Milken report states:
The biggest gainer in last year’s index, Lafayette, Louisiana, improved its position by another ten spots to claim 14th place this year. Last year’s dramatic climb was largely attributable to the population influx of hurricane evacuees. This sharp growth in population consequently led to increased demand in various service-driven industries. With the current housing crisis and slowdown in related sectors of the economy, growth in the metro has begun to subside. Interestingly, a shortage in health-care and education services has led to a dramatic increase in wages and salaries in those industries. Between 2005 and 2006, overall wages and salaries in the metro experienced the fastest increase in the nation, growing 8.0 percentage points above the U.S. average.
Elsewhere in Louisiana, Shreveport experienced one of the biggest climbs from last year, moving up from 131th to 67th. New Orleans moved up as well, from 186 to 151. Baton Rouge ranked 40th among large metros.