Bay area tops in New Economy
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Apr 20, 2001
The San Francisco-San Jose area California's Silicon Valley topped a
list of metropolitan regions as the most adaptable, innovative and supportive
of the New Economy, according to a study released Thursday.
The Metropolitan New Economy Index (available at www.neweconomyindex.org) ranked the country's top 50 metropolitan regions
with populations of 50,000 or more. The study was conducted jointly by the
Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank affiliated
with the Democratic Leadership Council, and Case Western Reserve University
Based on a variety of measures such as concentration of high-tech firms,
international trade, and household and school Internet connectivity the
San Francisco Bay area scored 95.6 out of a possible 100. Austin, Texas,
was a distant second, with a score of 77.9.
Rounding out the top five were Seattle; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and San Diego.
At the bottom of the list were Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Jacksonville,
Fla.; San Antonio, Texas; and Grand Rapids, Mich.
There were 16 indicators in all, including the educational achievement of
the workforce; the number of professional, managerial and technical jobs;
jobs created and lost; the number of new companies; broadband capacity;
the Internet infrastructure backbone; venture capital funding; research
and development funding; and science and engineering degrees awarded.
"We think, at the Progressive Policy Institute, the New Economy has become
one of the key issues that we would like to see cities [and] states addressing,"
said spokesman Matthew Frankel. "A study like this highlights the importance
of the New Economy and highlights some of the challenges that cities need
to face in the future."
For example, he said cities should look at the importance of education,
being connected to the Web, the impact of globalization and the competitive
job market as some conditions to improve.
Two years ago, the organization ranked the 50 states using similar indicators.
He said it helped showcase areas, but also motivated states to improve by
hosting forums and creating new strategies. Frankel said he hoped city officials
would view the new study as an asset to create urban plans.
The report advises metropolitan areas to analyze their economic situation,
create a skilled workforce, invest in infrastructure, create amenities and
improve public safety to attract skilled workers.