The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

When it comes to the top performing economies in the country, Utah cities are watching California’s Bay Area heavyweights fade in the mirror as the Provo-Orem metropolitan area earned a No. 1 ranking in a new study that saw two other Utah metros earn top-10 slots.

The annual Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index has Provo-Orem regaining its nation-leading status after dropping to the No. 2 position last year following top-place rankings in 2018 and 2019.

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The Santa Monica, California-based economic think tank is offering a “first look” at how cities across the country have weathered the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing data sets that cover jobs, wages, high-tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access.

In its 2021 assessment, Milken researchers noted that Utah — which netted three top tier rankings with Salt Lake City in the No. 4 spot and Ogden-Clearfield at No. 9 — was benefitting from those employees and businesses fleeing high-priced Northern California zip codes for the more affordable, and economically vibrant, climes of the Mountain West.

“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, in a release.

“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.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.