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These 10 US cities’ economies are booming

A new report explores which metropolitan areas are experiencing major job growth, and who really benefits from the upswing.

These 10 US cities’ economies are booming

Is your city one of the best spots for job growth in the United States? If so, you’re likely to find it ranked highly in a new Brookings Institution report which tracks 100 metropolitan economies across the country.

Called “Metro Monitor,” the report by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank names the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California area the number-one location for economic growth between 2009 and 2014. Job growth factored into that number (the area has enjoyed a 15.7% boost), along with gross metropolitan product per capita (+29.1%) and aggregate wages (+38.5%, the highest in the country).

Looking at job growth alone, however, the surging tech hub of Austin-Round Rock, Texas snagged the top spot, with an 18.8% escalation in jobs. Next up was Provo-Orem, Utah, with 18.6%, and Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Florida (16.1%).

But the report examines much more than job growth, assessing not just overall progress, but whether that progress is beneficial to the majority of a city’s residents. So while Austin ranked second overall in terms of overall economic growth, it lagged significantly in terms of how the benefits of that growth--which you can chalk up to all those shiny new tech jobs--hhe ave been distributed, with a declining median wage (-1.4%) and a growing number of workers who earn less than half of it.

“The Metro Monitor shows that economic growth alone does not reliably assure better outcomes for all groups in metropolitan areas,” said Alan Berube, a co-author of the report. “Local leaders hoping to extend and accelerate this economic recovery need to make deliberate efforts to ensure that more people and communities benefit from a rising tide.”

To underscore that point, the report compares the median wages, employment rate and relative poverty rate between white and non-white residents, revealing gaps in cities like Provo-Orem, Utah, that otherwise scored highly in terms of overall economic growth. Of the 100 metropolitan areas included, Cape Coral-Fort Meyers saw those gaps narrowing the most dramatically, with higher employment and similar relative poverty among non-white residents, despite a stark difference in median wages ($21,076, as opposed to $29,244 for white workers).

Read on for the 10 metropolitan areas for growth, or head over to the Brookings Institute for the full rankings.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Jobs: 
+15.7%
GMP: +29.1%
Agg. wages: +38.5%

2.  Austin-Round Rock, Texas
Jobs: 
+18.8%
GMP: +31.6%
Agg. wages: +24.5%

3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
Jobs: 
+14.1%
GMP: +26.6%
Agg. wages: +23.7%

4. Provo-Orem, Utah
Jobs:
 +18.6%
GMP: +19.0%
Agg. wages: +21.1%

5. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
Jobs:
 +15.7%
GMP: +24.2%
Agg. wages: +18.8%

6. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan
Jobs: 
+15.0%
GMP: +17.7%
Agg. wages: +18.7+

7. Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington, Texas
Jobs: 
+11.9%
GMP: +22.8%
Agg. wages: +16.8%

8. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
Jobs: 
+12.1%
GMP: +22.7%
Agg. wages: +16.4%

9. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
Jobs:
 +11.1%
GMP: +14.3%
Agg. wages: +22.4%

10. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina-South Carolina
Jobs: 
+11.3%
GMP: +15.6%
Agg. wages: +18.1%

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