COUNCIL HOSTS UNVEILING OF MILKEN INSTITUTE BEST-PERFORMING CITIES RANKING
The Bay Area confirmed its place as the nation’s hottest tech and job creation center with the release Thursday (Jan. 8) by the Milken Institute of its 2014 Best-Performing Cities Ranking that featured San Francisco in the top spot for the first time ever and a fourth place finish by San Jose. The results were unveiled at an event hosted by the Bay Area Council and featuring a discussion with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Milken Institute Chief Research Officer Ross DeVol moderated by Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman.
“San Francisco’s meteoric rise is astounding and a testament both to Mayor Ed Lee’s strong leadership and our region’s powerful and resilient innovation economy,” Wunderman said. “What’s happening in San Francisco is a microcosm of what’s happening around the region as the convergence of talent, technology and capital fuel a tsunami of investment, economic growth and entrepreneurialism. San Jose as the capitol of Silicon Valley is the bookend of a corridor of innovation and economic activity that is unrivalled in the nation.”
In reaching the apex of the Best-Performing Cities ranking, San Francisco leap-frogged Austin, Texas, and grabbed the top position for the first time in the 15 years of the ranking. As little as five years ago, San Francisco didn’t even figure in the top 10 of the Milken ranking, which includes 200 metropolitan areas across the country. The report cited wage growth in the tech sector over the past year and past five years as among the main reasons for San Francisco’s surge. Median wages among tech professionals in San Francisco is $91,400, 30 percent above the national average, the report said.
Wunderman quipped that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has made several visits to California in a showy bid to poach business, declined an invitation to attend the Thursday announcement.