In its strongest finish ever, Spokane has jumped to No. 20 on this year’s Forbes magazine list of big metros it deemed “Best Places for Business and Careers.”
Forbes ranks 200 big and 200 small cities on such topics as labor costs and recreational opportunities. Large cities this year had populations of 234,000 and up.
Last year, Spokane showed up more than halfway down the big metro list at No. 114.
This time around, Spokane was lauded for population and job growth, upswings in salaries, downtown revitalization, a wide range of recreational opportunities, a mix of low or no taxes and the future likelihood that area employers will be hiring.
But recent job growth and rising personal incomes are what catapulted Spokane to the top tier.
Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene ranked 22nd on the list of “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” That list ranked cities with populations of 57,000 to 232,000. Forbes considers a city’s entire metropolitan area when determining population.
Perhaps most impressive is Boise’s rank this year. It jumped to No. 3 among big metros, thanks to comparatively lower business costs, which are 14 percent below the national average, and stellar job growth, Forbes reported. It also came in at No. 20 for net migration, a measure of residents relocating in respective communities.
Meanwhile, Olympia graduated from small city status to claim the No. 10 spot in this year’s big city category. Forbes credited the capital city’s 2 percent annual growth in population, which is twice the national average, along with rising incomes and migration as strong suits.
The magazine hit newsstands Friday.
Each year, Forbes measures cities’ costs of doing business, job growth, educational attainment, cost of living, job and income growth, migration trends, quality-of-life, crime rates and recreational opportunities.
Elsewhere in Washington, Bremerton ranked No. 50 on the Forbes big metro list; Seattle was No. 62; Tacoma No. 71, and Yakima No. 187.
On the small cities list, the Idaho communities of Pocatello and Idaho Falls came in at No. 20 and No. 30, respectively.
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