Forbes’ best place to work: Boise
Looking to start your business or career? Low business costs (low cost of living, office rent), access to talent (a major university presence, knowledge, networking) and a high quality of life (ie nightlife, recreation) are what you need, and are the basis for some* of the key criteria for the Forbes Best Places For Business And Careers list. Carlos’s question yesterday, “I for the life of me cannot figure out what these people do professionaly to afford ‘$250-350K’ lofts or homes in this country. What are their profiles. What careers do they pick to afford that. Just curious.” Many of them probably start in towns like these, then move to the New Yorks and Chicagos where the housing prices (and nightlife) are at a premium.
Best Metros (over 350,000 people)
1. Boise ID
2. Raleigh-Durham NC
3. Austin TX
4. Washington DC (see ‘Speak Your Mind’ comments)
5. Albuquerque NM
6. Huntsville AL
7. Fayetteville AR
8. Norfolk VA
9. Atlanta GA
10. Madison WI
Best Small Towns:
1. Sioux Falls SD
2. Rochester MN
3. State College PA
4. Fargo ND
5. Bismarck ND
6. Rapid City SD
7. Lincoln NE
8. Las Cruces NM
9. Iowa City IA
10. Bloomington IN
*Full list of criteria: Number of engineers, cost of doing business, cost of living, crime rate, culture & leisure, educational attainment, income growth, job growth, net migration.
What town is your career or business thriving in, and why? Speak your mind below…
Low business costs? Washington, D.C.? You’ve got to be kidding me.
If New York and Boston are knocked off the list, presumably because of the high cost of living, I don’t see how Washington makes it. Surely D.C. doesn’t have better nightlife than Manhattan or a better university presence than Boston!
Sharon, you’re right. I’ve clarified the statement to emphasize that those were key criteria, but certainly not the only ones. Washington DC’s ranking is kind of an anomaly because it still has an unusually large amount of job growth for its size (thanks to Northern Virginia, though in not the best form), despite extremely low rankings in both cost of living and cost of doing business. Here’s Boston’s ranking at #40 along with New York’s at #120.
DC does boast the higher number of top-ranked universities (US News rankings) for its physical size and population, which is further enhanced when you mix in the top-ranked Maryland metro / Baltimore schools. Coupled this with the highly educated work force and the large number of growth companies, and nightlife becomes a largely irrelevant issue. But then have you seen the costs of buying a converted or new loft in the up-and-coming U Street area?
Neil, anybody that’s lived in the area should know that DC/MD/Nova/Baltimore really is one mega city 50 years in the making. I think there right to consider that in the process. But you never did give a profile of the professionals who command the purchase power at such a young age or the age group. I’m guessing 25-45.
The homes profiled yesterday started at $100K rather than the typical $300K for condos in first-tier cities. The younger age groups are able to afford $300K homes at $50K/year or less salaries only because they have paying housemates, though they often need their parents to sign off on the mortgage.