Austin, TX has been named the top metro for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ 13th Annual Rankings Report. Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO finished second and third, respectively, in BF‘s flagship metro rankings category.
“Austin, with one of the most dynamic and diverse metro economies in the nation, has been a perennial top-tier finisher in our Economic Growth Potential ranking,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. “The Texas capital is a thriving cosmopolitan city that has it all, including a highly skilled workforce with a demographic up-arrow that points to sustainable growth for years to come.”
Tech giants like Samsung Austin Semiconductor have given Austin bragging rights as a leading high-tech hub. South Korea-based Samsung, which has invested more than $13 billion in its sprawling chip fabrication facility over the past two decades, announced last fall that it plans to invest another $1 billion in the Austin complex, adding as many as 500 engineering and manufacturing jobs to a workforce that already totals more than 3,000.
Austin’s semiconductor industry accounts for about 10,000 to 15,000 jobs, including chip-maker NXP Semiconductors as well as leading chip designers Cirrus Logic, Silicon Labs and Advanced Micro Devices.
Apple recently moved thousands of employees into a campus that is bigger than any other that the tech giant currently has. The iPhone maker moved into a massive 1.1-million-square-foot campus in north Austin, as well as another smaller 216,000-square-foot campus in southwest Austin. In total, Apple now has more than 6,000 employees in the Texas capital.
Charlotte, NC continues to expand as a rising financial and insurance hub. Insurance giant AXA recently announced it will add 550 jobs to its University-area offices to create the largest of its U.S. operations. When the expansion is complete more than 1,000 jobs will be based on the AXA Charlotte campus.
This year, BF augmented its metro growth potential ranking with a new category: Economic Growth Potential (Population Less Than 300k). The top five metros in this category, respectively, are Salt Lake City, UT; Mobile, AL; Charleston, SC; Shreveport, LA; and Jersey City, NJ.
Salt Lake City is primed to become a leading U.S. cybersecurity hub. The metro already has a thriving set of diverse growth sectors, including digital media, and it offers a bounty of skilled workers to lure other tech players.
“With the nation’s largest demographic of people under the age of 30 and a robust set of higher education resources geared to developing graduates that are ready to fill 21st century jobs, the greater Salt Lake City area has a solid foundation for future growth,” Rogers said.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.
The complete 2017 BF Rankings Report, including state, metro and international results, is available here.