Thursday, May 11, 2006

No "Thanks" In The Golden State - Top Rank = #58

#1 Albuquerque, NM – Image Credit: © Lonely Planet

Forbes Magazine ranked the best Metro places for businesses and carrers and the Golden State did not do so well.

Of the 25 most expensive places to locate a business in the U.S., 20 are in California, thanks to high taxes and worker's compensation costs. (No one in the Golden State is getting a break on labor or office space costs either.)

The highest-ranking metro in the Golden State is the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine area. This Orange County area placed 58th thanks to low crime and a very educated labor force.

More excerpts from Forbes via Yahoo! Finance -

The Top Ten Metros
By Kurt Badenhausen - Forbes.com

"In a progressive country," Benjamin Disraeli once said, "change is constant."

And how.

In this year's ranking of the best places for business and careers, perennial top-ten metros like Atlanta, Austin and Northern Virginia-Washington, D.C., fell from the highest perch, hurt by slowing income growth.

Newcomers that cracked the top tier include Houston, riding high on oil profits, and Phoenix, lifted by a housing and population boom. Overall, half of the top ten places are new this year.

We expanded this year's list to include the 200 largest metro areas, up from 150, thanks to Uncle Sam's reconfiguration of metropolitan statistical areas--which split regions like Raleigh-Durham into two.

--
A tip of the hat to West Chester, Pa., research firm Moody's Economy.com, which provided data for the rankings. Its business cost index weighs labor, energy, tax and office space costs.

Our
top-ranked metro, Albuquerque, N.M., has the lowest business costs in the country, 24% below the national average. Albuquerque also benefited from an educated population and rising household incomes.

To calculate living expenses, Economy.com considered housing, transportation, food and other household expenses. In the rankings, we also examined job and income growth, as well as migration trends over the last five years.

Bertrand Sperling, a consultant in Portland, Ore., analyzed crime data for us and developed an arts and leisure index that tracks things like museums, theaters, golf courses and sports teams. He also gauged the education of the workforce and assessed the presence of top colleges in the area.

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