Idaho is thriving! While markets are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, Idaho is in a pretty economically healthy standing in comparison the rest of the country. According to a new report, two Idaho cities rank in the top 10 of the country's best-performing cities.

Idaho Falls jumped six spots from last year to now top the list among small cities on The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index. Idaho Falls Magazine notes that "the area’s high-tech industry presence – which includes employers like the Idaho National Laboratory and Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC – drove job growth and contributed to its strong performance."

“The pandemic has had an outsized impact on cities where the economic effects of the current recession are exacerbated by high housing costs,” said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and California Center. “By measuring for factors such as jobs, wages, and high-tech growth, the Best-Performing Cities Index offers analysis of how metro areas have fared based on the resilience of their local economy. And by incorporating data designed to gauge inclusivity, it provides important insights into how cities will be prepared to meet challenges and opportunities for future growth post-pandemic.”

Boise is the second Idaho city to crack the top 10 ranking as the 6th best performing cities among big cities. As Idaho's Department of Labor recently reported, Idaho’s economy is rebounding faster than almost anywhere in the country so it makes sense for Boise to be high on the list. Meanwhile, neighboring city Provo-Orem in Utah has demonstrated the best economic performance among large cities which is a good look for the entire region!

What I do find to be sort of ironic though is that this year the Milken Institute analyzed variables such as jobs, wages, high-tech growth, housing affordability, and household broadband access to curate their list. As we all know, affordable housing in Boise, Idaho is not a thing!! We'll let that part slide though and just smile and nod and collect our accolades.


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