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Three Utah cities take top ranks in annual best-performing cities report

(FILE: Provo Courthouse) Provo-Orem, with its robust high-tech sector and broad-based job and wage growth, is the Best-Performing City in the United States, according to the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities 2017 Index. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - Provo-Orem took the No. 1 spot in Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities 2017 Index of best-performing cities in the nation. Salt Lake City ranked No. 10 and St. George ranked No. 2 in the small cities category.

The top-rated metro areas identified in the report is founded on fact-based metrics in nine categories to evaluate relative growth, including increase in jobs, wages and technology output over time.

The index also measures high-tech fields whose concentrations in a metropolitan area are higher than the national average, a news release stated.

"Provo-Orem, UT takes the number one seed this year. Further improving upon last year’s strong second place ranking, the region that is home to Brigham Young University performed well across all nine indicators and benefited from high-tech industries helping to create broad-based job growth," a news release stated.

The Utah County cities were heralded for adding 5,500 new jobs between 2011-2016. The report dubbed the cities as being "a technology hotbed" with Adobe’s 1,200-person digital marketing unit, approximately 1,300 employees and plans to expand its campus with a $90 million facility, though that facility is in Lehi, Utah.

The report said Salt Lake City gained one spot to rank 10th for one of the largest gains in job growth from 2015 to 2016 and wage growth from 2014 to 2015.

Job growth came from a diverse array of industries including health and professional service sectors, the report stated about Utah's Capitol City.

"Utah's strong entrepreneurial spirit and business-friendly environment allow companies to grow in communities big and small," Gov. Gary R. Herbert was quoted in the news release. "As we invest in our skilled workforce and diverse economy, we continue to improve job opportunities and quality of life for residents statewide."

Overall, six Florida and four California cities ranked among the top-25 Best-Performing Cities. San Jose, CA, last year's top city, is showing signs of slowing and dropped ten places to No. 11 overall, the news release stated.

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