Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 10:33am MST
Flagstaff ranks among Kiplinger's best cities
Phoenix Business Journal
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Flagstaff among its Best Cities of 2009 — the only Arizona city to make the top 10 list.
The U.S. cities were selected from a pool of 361 metros for solid employment opportunities as well as the talent to create new, well-paying positions. Flagstaff came in at No. 9 and was praised for a variety of reasons.
“The Old West charm of Flagstaff is infused with new energy — both from its residents and from the college students at Northern Arizona University,” Kiplinger’s said. “The university adds jobs to the city’s economy, plus arts and entertainment to its cultural scene. The government is big business in Flagstaff (Coconino County seat), as is tourism — a result of the city’s proximity to the Grand Canyon.”
Huntsville, Ala. topped the list, followed by Albuquerque, Washington, Charlottesville, Va., Athens, Ga., Olympia, Wash., Madison, Wis., Austin, Texas, Flagstaff and Raleigh, N.C.
To identify the Best Cities of 2009, Kiplinger’s teamed with Kevin Stolarick, research director at Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank in Toronto that studies economic prosperity. Stolarick evaluated U.S. cities for their growth potential, looking not just at the overall number of jobs but the quality of the positions and the ability of cities to hold on to them when the economy softens.
“Although downturns are felt by everyone, our research has shown that the impact is less severe for those in the creative class — people who are paid to think,” said Stolarick. “People in fields such as science, engineering, architecture, and education are catalysts of vitality and livability in a city.”