GRANTS PASS – The City of Grants Pass ranked second in performance among all small city metros in the U.S. according to an annual report issued by the Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank with a history of more than three decades of economic research and analysis.
The institute’s annual Best-Performing Cities report has tracked the economic performance of U.S. metros for two decades using job, wage and salary, and high-tech gross domestic product (GDP) indicators. The report is generated using an outcomes-based set of metrics to evaluate the relative growth of each metropolitan area, including job creation, wage gains, and technological developments.
Grants Pass gained 21 rankings from 2019 to 2020, ranking second only to the Bend-Redmond metro district of Oregon in a list of more than 200 small cities across America.
The extensive study measured each city in nine different categories encompassing growth in jobs, wages, salaries, and technology output over five years. For jobs and technology output, figures from 2013-2018 were factored, and for wages and salaries, statistics from 2012-2017 were used to adjust for extreme variations in business cycles. The report also incorporates the latest available year’s performance in these areas, as well as a measure of 12-month job growth (August 2019 – August 2019) to capture recent momentum.
Six of the top ten Best-Performing Small Cities were deemed to be retiree communities where those demographics not only “benefit medical centers, but they also provide their communities with stable high-wage employment,” paired with tourism industries focused on “outdoor recreation,” said the report written by economist Michael C.Y. Lin, PhD; research analyst Joe Lee, and economist Perry Wong.
According to the report, the overall health care sector in Grants Pass grew 5.8 percent over the last year, adding a total of 290 jobs with the area’s one-year job growth ranking sixth overall out of the 201 U.S. small cities in the study. The report went on to say that the furniture and wood production industries remain one of the stable sources of employment for as many as 1,090 people in the area.
Other small cities in Oregon making the list included Medford at number 12, Albany at number 19, and Corvalis at number 42. Oregon cities on the Best-Performing Large Cities list included the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro region at number 24, Salem at number 27, and Eugene at number 108.
The full report is available online at: https://milkeninstitute.org/reports/best-performing-cities-2020.