Area Development ranks the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area No. 22 in its sixth annual “leading locations” report. Unlike the “top states” survey we cited earlier, which relied on the perceptions of site selection advisors, this report uses economic metrics.
For the sixth year, Area Development has tackled the question [of which are the hottest metros for new and expanding business] with a multifaceted approach that crunches a wide variety of data to arrive at rankings in four vital factors — Prime Workforce, Economic Strength, Year-Over-Year Growth, and Five-Year Growth. They’re indicators that collectively demonstrate a metropolitan area’s recent and longer-term economic vitality and success, as well as its capacity to effectively support the growth and prosperity of businesses that choose to locate or expand there. The factors that go into Area Development’s Leading Locations studies are, thus, both an examination of the past and a glimpse into the potential future.
The top spot goes to San Francisco, followed by Napa, California; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Columbus, Indiana; and San Jose, California. The rankings suggest the importance of a strong tech sector.
The rankings included 394 metro areas. The full data presentation is here.
And, while the rankings are consistent with other research we’ve reported on, the city’s minimum wage hikes and “secure scheduling” law may result in slower growth in hiring, particularly for young and inexperienced workers.