The 2013 rankings published by NewGeography.com placed the Cleveland Metropolitan Statistical Area behind Midland, Texas; Odessa, Texas; and Columbus, Ind.
Doug Berry, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce vice president for Economic Development, saw the rankings linked to the economic development website Area Development Online.
“The rankings are not based on one industry,” he said. “They look at the entire labor pool in the community. When you take all the factors into account, it shows we are an evolving community. We have lost some manufacturing jobs, but we have stabilized in recent years and have started bringing new jobs back. We are becoming a much broader service-oriented community that is providing for our own needs. That builds job growth in other sectors, all of which helps build a stronger economy and feeds back into helping to attract more manufacturing.”
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said the ranking is great news that shows the nation that “we aggressively seek jobs for our people,” the mayor said. “I’ve always known the people in the Cleveland Metro area are the finest and we want the best for them. It really speaks well for our community.”
He said more jobs equate to more opportunities at home for high school and college graduates.
“I’m asked all the time why we are so successful in having major manufacturers locating here and I quote what Whirlpool officials said when they expanded. They said it was due to the work ethics of our people, low taxes, cooperation between local governments and available land.”
San Angelo, Texas; Owensburg, Ky.; Boulder, Colo.; Jonesboro, Ark.; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. Metropolitan Division; and Williamsport, Pa., were in the fifth through 10th spots.
Dalton, Ga., finished last in the rankings at 398th.
The Tennessee MSA’s were Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, in 15th place; Clarksville, TN-KY, 63rd; Jackson, 70th; Knoxville, 147th; Chattanooga, TN-GA, 221st; Memphis, TN-MS-AR, 262nd; Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA, 281st; Johnson City, 283rd; and Morristown, 369th.
Cleveland jumped 368 spots from 372nd in 2012 to the fourth spot in 2013. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin moved up 30 positions in the rankings. Chattanooga moved up 28 spots.
The rankings used four measures of growth to rank all 398 metro areas for which full data sets were available from the past 10 years. “Large” areas include those with a current nonfarm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs. “Midsize” areas range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs. “Small” areas have as many as 150,000 jobs, according to the website.
NewGeography.com is a joint venture of Joel Kotkin and Praxis Strategy Group. The website is devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where people live and work.
According to the website, the methodology for the 2013 rankings emphasizes the robustness of a region's growth both recently and over time. It allows the rankings to include all of the metropolitan statistical areas for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports monthly employment data.
The data reflect the North American Industry Classification System categories, including total nonfarm employment, manufacturing, financial services, business and professional services, educational and health services, information, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and government.
The index is calculated from a normalized, weighted summary of recent growth trend: the current and prior year's employment growth rates; mid-term growth: the average annual 2007-12 growth rate; and long-term trend and momentum, according to NewGeography.com.