Study: Dayton among nation’s best performing cities economically

A recent study by the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica-based think tank, has listed Dayton and other Ohio cities among the nation’s best-performing cities. The study is published annually and “uses a fact-based set of metrics such as job creation, wage gains, and technology developments to evaluate the relative growth of metropolitan areas.”

According to the institute, “[t]he goal of our Best-Performing Cities index is to help businesses, investors, industry associations, development agencies and government officials, academics, and public-policy groups monitor and evaluate how well their metro is promoting economic vitality relative to the rest of the country. The index also provides benchmarking data that can inform approaches to improving a region’s performance.” 

The study used each city’s metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as a basis for determining each city’s rank. For Dayton, this includes Montgomery, Greene and Miami counties. 

>> Related: 5 reasons to love living in Ohio 

The study looked at both large cities and small cities (no statistic was listed for what determines a city as large or small).

On this year’s list, Dayton was ranked 129, up from 174 in 2015. This is behind Columbus (65), Cincinnati (84), Toledo (99), and Akron (124). Here are how large Ohio cities ranked: 

65. Columbus 

84. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

99. Toledo 

124. Akron 

129. Dayton 

154. Cleveland-Elyria 

161. Canton-Massillon 

193. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 

196. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH 

San Jose topped the list, same as it did last year. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA rounded out the 200 city list, same as it did last year. According to the report, Dayton, Toledo, and Akron all benefited from exposure to the auto sector  

Fuyao has hired extensively in the Miami Valley for its Moraine plant. STAFF PHOTO (Staff Writer)

Dayton is noted later in the list as one of the top gainers from last year. Dayton improved 45 ranks over last year, due in part to its exposure to the auto industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2016, Montgomery County has an employment level of 251,500, which is 5th highest in the state and an average weekly wage of $843. The Dayton MSA, as of September 2016, has employment of 366,902, an increase of 5,050 over September 2015. 

Other top gainers in Ohio included Toledo, which gained 63 ranks (162 in 2015, 99 in 2016) and Akron, which gained 44 ranks (168 in 2015, 124 in 2016) 

>> Related: Unemployment down across Miami Valley

>> Related: Ohio, Michigan teachers get top pay 

The study also looked at best performing small cities, which included some Ohio cities: 

119. Lima 

157. Wheeling, WV-OH 

167. Mansfield 

191. Springfield  

Bend-Redmond, OR ranked first for small cities, an improvement of 8 ranks from last year. Pine Bluff, AR finished last on the 201 city list. 



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