What’s the best place in the nation for a business or career?
The answer, according to a new list from Forbes, is Des Moines, Iowa, followed by Provo, Utah; Raleigh, N.C.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Nashville, Tenn.
The list, released Wednesday, looked at 12 different economic indicators to come up with the rankings.
“Last week’s jobs report for July showed unemployment dropping from 7.6% to 7.4%, which marks the lowest rate since December 2008. Good times, right? Not exactly,” Forbes’ Kurt Badenhausen wrote. “The rate fell in part because more and more Americans have ceased looking for work. Wage growth has been anemic and the recovery from the recession has been the slowest since World War II. The U.S. economy is sputtering along at 2% growth.”
“But there are places with strong business climates, fueled by low costs and educated labor forces. With that in mind, Forbes crunched the numbers for our 15th annual list of the Best Places For Business And Careers.”
Things that played in Des Moines’ favor: business costs that are 17% below the national average and an educated workforce where 36% of the population has a college degree and 92% possess a high school diploma.
The city also is creating a strong foothold in the technology sector as Facebook has announced plans to build a $300 million data center in the Des Moines metropolitan area.
Microsoft is investing $678 million to expand its existing state-of-the-art data center in West Des Moines, which opened in 2009.
Data centers have become a popular business in Des Moines, because energy costs are 22 percent below the national average.
As for the state with the biggest impact the answer may well be Texas. The Lone Star State landed five cities in the top 25 with San Antonio leading the way at number 11. Other Texas cities to make the list include Dallas (13), Austin (14), Fort Worth (15) and Houston (25).
Rounding out the top 10 are Denver; Fort Collins, Colo.; Oklahoma City; Seattle and Durham, N.C.