Major CU Footprint in Milken’s ‘Best Performing Cities’ Report

Aerial view of neighborhood

Some notable cities and regions across California and Nevada that have a major credit union footprint are spotlighted in the Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Cities 2021: Foundations for Growth and Recovery” report released this past week — something to note as credit unions soon move into the second-half of 2021.

Cities and metropolitan areas across California include Anaheim, Bakersfield, Berkeley, Chico, El Centro, Fresno, Hanford, Livermore, Los Angeles, Madera, Merced, Modesto, Napa, Oxnard, Oakland, Redding, Riverside, San Rafael, Sacramento, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Rosa, San Jose, San Francisco, Salinas, Stockton, Santa Maria, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Vallejo, Visalia, and Yuba City.

Cities and metropolitan areas across Nevada include Carson City, Las Vegas, and Reno.

This year’s report emphasizes jobs, wages, and high-tech growth while incorporating new measures of housing affordability and household broadband internet access. For the first time, the index includes the designation of five tiers across the overall rankings. By grouping cities with similar scores, new benchmarks are provided.

California’s usual standouts — including No. 24 (San Francisco) and No. 22 (San Jose) — dropped to Tier 2 of the index due to the high cost of housing and a strong negative shift in short-term job growth. “This may indicate the outsized effect of the coronavirus pandemic on so-called ‘superstar cities’,” the report states.

Overall, high-ranking and upwardly mobile large cities performed better than the median on one- and five-year measures of housing affordability and short-term job growth. Notably, the center of gravity of the “Best Performing Large Cities” — and many high-tech industries in general — has shifted from its traditionally dominant centers in California to the inter-mountain West and the South.

“This is not to say that legacies of innovation are irrelevant,” the report adds. “A dynamic, concentrated high-tech sector is still very indicative of economic success, and cities with histories of innovation are more resilient to economic shocks. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, cities’ capacity for economic recovery will rely on the alignment between opportunities in high-tech industries and affordable costs of living. Cities that support innovation, as well as inclusion, are more likely to provide a foundation for broad-based economic growth.”

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