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Mith242

Milken Institute Rankings of the NWA Metro

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The new Milken Institute numbers are out. NWA dropped from 7th to 8th. Of course before that we were actually 1st. I know we've discussed this somewhat before but I couldn't find a topic so I started a new one. Looks like our highest individual ranking came in the 5 year wage/salary growth where we were 3rd. Here's a link to their website to further examine their numbers.

http://www.milkeninstitute.org/

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Everyone can just check this out at the website but I thought I'd post some of the rankings of our other metros in the region. OKC came in at 65th up from 142nd. Springfield was 77th down from 62nd. Ft Worth was 80th up from 195th. Little Rock was 94th up from 106th. Shreveport was 111th up from 150th. Dallas was 115th down from 114th. Kansas City was 116th down from 109th. Houston 129th down from 105th. St Louis was 144th up from 151st. Ft Smith was 154th up from 155th. Memphis was 159th down from 134th. New Orleans was 163th up from 167th. Tulsa was 180th up from 189th.

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The new Milken Institute numbers are out. NWA dropped from 7th to 8th. Of course before that we were actually 1st. I know we've discussed this somewhat before but I couldn't find a topic so I started a new one. Looks like our highest individual ranking came in the 5 year wage/salary growth where we were 3rd. Here's a link to their website to further examine their numbers.

http://www.milkeninstitute.org/

I'm sorry but I have to :rofl: at that statement. This is a perfect example of how statistics can be so blind to reality. The fact is the only wage/salary growth Northwest Arkansas is seeing is from people already making a higher salary when they move here or from people who receive a higher salary when they move here simply because they're not from here. The median income in Northwest Arkansas is $45,000 per year. Really, how many people do you know, that don't own their own business, make that kind of salary?

And how long have they lived here?

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I'm sorry but I have to :rofl: at that statement. This is a perfect example of how statistics can be so blind to reality. The fact is the only wage/salary growth Northwest Arkansas is seeing is from people already making a higher salary when they move here or from people who receive a higher salary when they move here simply because they're not from here. The median income in Northwest Arkansas is $45,000 per year. Really, how many people do you know, that don't own their own business, make that kind of salary?

And how long have they lived here?

That is a valid point but I still think it is a step in the right direction. Even if some of us don't get a share of that money, I still think there's more ammenities that people with this money will be able to support which in turn means that the rest of us might also be able to take part in some of these amenities. :D

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That is a valid point but I still think it is a step in the right direction. Even if some of us don't get a share of that money, I still think there's more ammenities that people with this money will be able to support which in turn means that the rest of us might also be able to take part in some of these amenities. :D

I suppose any growth is good growth even if many of us are left behind. I'm still waiting for some new "family-oriented" amenities in Northwest Arkansas that aren't just for the rich.

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I'm a bit dissapointed that we moved down, I thought for sure we'd be up in the top 5.

I've heard that it was expected and nothing to worry about. This is the first time the metro with Madison and McDonald Counties has been evaluated by Milken. So things are still going okay. Nothing against Madison or McDonald Counties but at the moment they didn't add much to the metro at least on paper. But I'm sure this will change. One category that's still hurting Fayetteville is the lack of a tech industry here. I heard that the university just isn't big enough yet to make much of a difference yet in this aspect.

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Northwest Arkansas was very lucky to see the top 10 for this long. I'm not trying to be negative when I say that this is based on circumstances. In reality, it's all those wealthy execs from Wal-Mart's many suppliers that are affecting these numbers and not the average worker in Northwest Arkansas. Combined with the fact that there are more higher-paid teachers, doctors and nurses moving to this area. These facts are backed up by the fact that the only homes being built are for the wealthy. The numbers that Milken uses to rate a city are heavily skewed by the fact that only a select few are seeing wage growth and not the general population of Northwest Arkansas.

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Northwest Arkansas was very lucky to see the top 10 for this long. I'm not trying to be negative when I say that this is based on circumstances. In reality, it's all those wealthy execs from Wal-Mart's many suppliers that are affecting these numbers and not the average worker in Northwest Arkansas. Combined with the fact that there are more higher-paid teachers, doctors and nurses moving to this area. These facts are backed up by the fact that the only homes being built are for the wealthy. The numbers that Milken uses to rate a city are heavily skewed by the fact that only a select few are seeing wage growth and not the general population of Northwest Arkansas.

Exactly. Although I would be curious if the other top 10 metros are being skewed as well.

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Exactly. Although I would be curious if the other top 10 metros are being skewed as well.

Good point. I can only base my opinions on what I know about the job market here in Northwest Arkansas, though. From what I've seen for the past few years is people moving here getting higher wages than locals because the low unemployment forces companies to pay more to get the best pick of new residents. Also, there have been numerous reports from area hospitals and schools that they're trying to bring in the best and the brightest teachers and doctors which means offering them higher pay than locals. The biggest contributor to the wage growth in Northwest Arkansas is from Wal-Mart's many vendors and suppliers moving their top marketing specialists and executives to Northwest Arkansas to work closely with their biggest distributor.

The most important indicator that wage growth in Northwest Arkansas is skewed is the fact that all new homes being built here have inflated prices and are all luxury homes.

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Masons_dad: Not all homes being built there are luxury, there are many single family homes and apartments being built as well. Just because you can't afford a luxury home doesn't mean that other people who make the same as you do can't. Most people who live in those homes have 2 incomes to pay for their house. 2 people making a decent living can afford a luxury house. Just about every field there pays more than anywhere else in the state/region of the country...even fast food jobs there pay quite a bit more than minimum wage. The highest growth in jobs there are in the service sector, and I know people that make a damn good living there in the service sector. So, you can't say the job growth is just high paying wal-mart and wal-mart vendor type jobs. Those jobs spur other jobs...jobs for everyone. I promise you, everybody who wants to work there, can work and make a good living and have a decent place to live. As I stated in another thread, quality of life is what you make of it...you can be happy and have a high quality of life anywhere.

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I promise you, everybody who wants to work there, can work and make a good living and have a decent place to live.

I do agree with you on this statement. As for the rest only time will show what's to become of Northwest Arkansas as far as wage growth and the cost of living is concerned. I've read quite a few articles on these subjects and they all confirm that home prices and cost of living are on the rise while wage growth is moving at a much slower pace.

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I can see the points being made. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents as well. I think there is frustration with many people because of the rapid rise in home and real estate prices. Job wages are going up too but in a lot of cases it's new jobs being brought in tied into vendor jobs to Wal-mart. In many of these cases local people aren't getting the new higher wage jobs it's people coming in from outside the area. I'm not saying there aren't higher paying jobs for the locals already here but I think it would seem to many that the cost of living is raising more quickly than perhaps their own personal wages.

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Something I apparently missed when looking at the Milken Institute rankings was of our tech industry. It's small but apparently growing well. But I guess it was so small to start off with that it's not easy to notice. Economists said though it might be another 5-10 years before our tech industry becomes more apparent.

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Something I apparently missed when looking at the Milken Institute rankings was of our tech industry. It's small but apparently growing well. But I guess it was so small to start off with that it's not easy to notice. Economists said though it might be another 5-10 years before our tech industry becomes more apparent.

Yeah I noticed that too. The other metros in the top ten had similar or even worse tech industries than ours. Fayetteville is leading Northwest Arkansas in that category and I'm hoping that the tech industry will start booming soon here.

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Obviously the discussion here has been more directed to the Milken Institutes Rankings but thought maybe it would be a good place to also mention the Forbes rankings as well. I know it was mentioned in the Fayetteville topic but there wasn't much discussion. Wasn't sure if it got lost in the other discussions but thought I'd give it a try again. Fayetteville's best ranking was job rate which we were 7th. It's probably what really helped propel us up to our position. Cost of doing business was 23th, which isn't bad either. Then of course there's our week spot of educational attainment which was 141st. I'm certainly hoping this is an area that we can really improve on. Keeping more of our college graduates here would be a good start. I though I heard Ft Smith was first in cost of doing business, or maybe it was cost of living or something like that. Little Rock's overall rank was 22nd, not bad either. Great to have two Arkansas metros in the top 25.

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Obviously the discussion here has been more directed to the Milken Institutes Rankings but thought maybe it would be a good place to also mention the Forbes rankings as well. I know it was mentioned in the Fayetteville topic but there wasn't much discussion. Wasn't sure if it got lost in the other discussions but thought I'd give it a try again. Fayetteville's best ranking was job rate which we were 7th. It's probably what really helped propel us up to our position. Cost of doing business was 23th, which isn't bad either. Then of course there's our week spot of educational attainment which was 141st. I'm certainly hoping this is an area that we can really improve on. Keeping more of our college graduates here would be a good start. I though I heard Ft Smith was first in cost of doing business, or maybe it was cost of living or something like that. Little Rock's overall rank was 22nd, not bad either. Great to have two Arkansas metros in the top 25.

The Milken Institute Rankings were based only on job growth over the past 5 years. If you look at job growth in in just the past year the Fayetteville MSA ranks 23. I wasn't impressed with the rest of the results as most metros of similar size ranked better than Fayetteville in Tech Jobs and GDP. It looks like the Forbes Rankings are only current to 2004, but I thought I'd paste those rankings for Fayetteville. Keep in mind that these rankings are only for the list of Best Small Places and is not indicative of where Fayetteville ranks among the large metros like Little Rock or Dallas.

2004 BEST SMALL PLACES RANKINGS

#5 Fayetteville, AR

Population: 332,000

Advanced Degrees: 40

Cost of Doing Business: 35

Cost Of Living: 144

Crime Rate: 34

Culture & Leisure: 88

Educational Attainment: 69

Income Growth: 1

Job Growth: 1

Net Migration: 7

Overall: 5

As you can see the Fayetteville metro may have a very high cost of living, but it's the best place to do business and work while being one of the safest metros to live in and is also the 7th fastest growing small metro in the US. It concerns me that the cost of living is so high compared to small metros that have similar rankings, but I guess you get what you pay for.

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It looks like the NWA Metro was ranked 22nd on a list of medium sized markets in the U.S. for the best cities for relocating families on lists compiled by Worldwide ERC and Primacy Relocation.

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It looks like the NWA Metro was ranked 22nd on a list of medium sized markets in the U.S. for the best cities for relocating families on lists compiled by Worldwide ERC and Primacy Relocation.

Interesting, thanks for the info Matt. :D

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The Milken Institute Rankings were based only on job growth over the past 5 years. If you look at job growth in in just the past year the Fayetteville MSA ranks 23. I wasn't impressed with the rest of the results as most metros of similar size ranked better than Fayetteville in Tech Jobs and GDP. It looks like the Forbes Rankings are only current to 2004, but I thought I'd paste those rankings for Fayetteville. Keep in mind that these rankings are only for the list of Best Small Places and is not indicative of where Fayetteville ranks among the large metros like Little Rock or Dallas.

2004 BEST SMALL PLACES RANKINGS

#5 Fayetteville, AR

Population: 332,000

Advanced Degrees: 40

Cost of Doing Business: 35

Cost Of Living: 144

Crime Rate: 34

Culture & Leisure: 88

Educational Attainment: 69

Income Growth: 1

Job Growth: 1

Net Migration: 7

Overall: 5

As you can see the Fayetteville metro may have a very high cost of living, but it's the best place to do business and work while being one of the safest metros to live in and is also the 7th fastest growing small metro in the US. It concerns me that the cost of living is so high compared to small metros that have similar rankings, but I guess you get what you pay for.

What are you talking about?

It says Fayetteville (really, NWA) is 1st in job growth, 7th in net migration, 34th in crime, and 144th in cost of living of the areas surveyed. Are you being sarcastic or did you not realize they were saying NWA had a very favorable cost of living?

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What are you talking about?

It says Fayetteville (really, NWA) is 1st in job growth, 7th in net migration, 34th in crime, and 144th in cost of living of the areas surveyed. Are you being sarcastic or did you not realize they were saying NWA had a very favorable cost of living?

Are you sure about that? I would think that since this is a rating where 1st is best, there would be an inherent assumption that 1st is cheapest in this particular rating. So 144th would be 144th cheapest.

While that is really not all that bad, it isn't very good either.

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I don't think I've heard about this yet. I actually came across this going through the Shreveport-Bossier City subforum here on UP. It shows NWA being ranked third in mid-sized boomtowns.

http://www.inc.com/magazine/20060501/boomtowns-midsize.html

Congratulations on the NWA rank! I noticed that Springfield was on the list at #25 as well. :D

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What are you talking about?

It says Fayetteville (really, NWA) is 1st in job growth, 7th in net migration, 34th in crime, and 144th in cost of living of the areas surveyed. Are you being sarcastic or did you not realize they were saying NWA had a very favorable cost of living?

Are you sure about that? I would think that since this is a rating where 1st is best, there would be an inherent assumption that 1st is cheapest in this particular rating. So 144th would be 144th cheapest.

While that is really not all that bad, it isn't very good either.

My thoughts exactly. There should be a better balance between those two stats (job growth/cost of living).

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