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Wilmington Ranks High In Report For Economic Productivity

By J. Elias O'Neal, posted Jan 10, 2014

A California-based economic think tank has ranked greater Wilmington as one of the state’s most economically productive regions in 2013.
 
The Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that tracks economic productivity and trends across the U.S, ranked metro Wilmington as the fourth best-performing city in North Carolina and the 77th best-performing large city metro in the country, according to its 2013 Best-Performing Cities report released Thursday. 
 
The economic report analyzed new jobs, wage and salary growth as well as technology industry growth including high-tech gross domestic product growth and concentration in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
 
Greater Wilmington’s national rank jumped 37 places on the 2013 list – outpacing economic performance in larger metros such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New Orleans, according to the report.
 
In 2012, the region was ranked the sixth best-performing city in the Tar Heel State and was the 114th best-performing large city metro in the nation.
 
Raleigh-Cary ranked tops in the state and No. 13 in the nation, according to the report – a 10-point slide from its No. 3 ranking in 2012, the report stated. Metro Charlotte was second in the state and 27th in the U.S. The Durham-Chapel Hill area was ranked the third best-performing metro in North Carolina and 60th nationally.
 
Metro Fayetteville rounded out the top five best-performing metros in the state. It also came in at No. 82 in the U.S.
 
Other North Carolina metros ranked in the report included:
- Asheville: No. 6 in the state; No. 100 in the U.S.  
- Greensboro-High Point: No. 7 in the state; No. 135 in the U.S.  
- Winston-Salem: No. 8 in the state; No. 136 in the U.S.  
- Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton: No. 9 in the state; No. 190 in the U.S.
 
Overall, the best-performing large city metro in the U.S. was Austin, Texas, according to the report. The weakest-performing large city metro ranked was Atlantic City, N.J.

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