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St. Louis slips even further in ranking of 'best-performing cities'

St. Louis ranked poorly for job growth in the new report, coming in at No. 142 from 2018-2019 and No. 141 in the same category from 2014-2019

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis slipped further in an annual ranking of the best-performing cities, landing at No. 128 of 200.

The metro area had come in at No. 113 in 2020 in the Milken Institute's index, which weighs job creation, wage gains, high-tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access. The nonprofit think tank has produced the ranking every year since 1999.

St. Louis ranked poorly for job growth in the new report, coming in at No. 142 from 2018-2019 and No. 141 in the same category from 2014-2019.

It was also low, for example, in measurements of wage growth (No. 137 from 2018-2019 and No. 133 from 2014-2019), plus high-tech gross domestic product (No. 111 from 2018-2019 and No. 173 from 2014-2019).

Better for St. Louis were housing affordability (No. 30 in 2019 and No. 49 from 2014-2018), plus high-tech concentration (No. 76 in 2019) and broadband access (No. 93 in 2019).

Job growth for the past 12 months also ranked 84th.

Provo, Utah, ranked No. 1 this year.

And top cities included more metros in the intermountain west and south, Milken said, thanks to wage and job growth "far above the national median and concentrated high-tech sectors."

Plus they had "relatively affordable housing costs and very high levels of broadband access, indicating inclusive growth based on housing and infrastructure."

Housing costs and a negative shift in short-term job growth dinged San Francisco and San Jose, perhaps indicating "the outsize effect of the coronavirus pandemic on so-called 'superstar cities,'" Milken said.

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