Philadelphia makes strides on Milken Institute's "Best Performing Cities" list
The Philadelphia metro made big gains in the Milken Institute's latest annual list of Best Performing Cities.
Why it matters: These metropolitan areas offer high wages, plentiful jobs and thriving tech sectors — making them economic models for the rest of the nation.
Driving the news: The Milken Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit, analyzed 403 U.S. metropolitan areas using 13 economic metrics, based on data from January 2022-August 2023.
Zoom in: The Philly area ranked No. 52, a significant jump from last year (No. 182).
Of note: This year's rankings considered two new factors: income equality and "resilience," or a city's ability to withstand severe weather and economic turmoil.
Details: Philly nabbed the top spot for the most-improved metro area among big cities.
- Those gains were driven by strong wage and job growth over the past year, Maggie Switek, lead author of the report, tells Axios.
Between the lines: Philly's growth went beyond the leisure and hospitality industries to include high-salary jobs in the high-tech sector and professional services.
- "In that sense, Philadelphia stands out in that its gains in the rankings have been driven really by growth in high-paying industries," Switek said.
Yes, but: The metro still has several challenges.
- Income inequality here is higher than the average for large cities and the city is facing elevated levels of gun violence and retail theft, an affordable housing crisis, an opioid epidemic and high poverty.
Of note: Trenton, New Jersey, was ranked No. 51, just above Philly.
Meanwhile, Harrisburg-Carlisle (53); Camden, New Jersey, (59); and Lancaster (79) were among the other nearby metros to make the list.
What's next: Expect climate change, the migration of high-tech jobs and the evolution of remote work patterns to continue shaping the fortunes of cities across America.
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