The Provo-Orem metro was featured as the nation’s top performing city in the nation for factors like job growth and an increased concentration of high-tech companies in the area. (Nate Edwards/BYU)

Provo-Orem was named the No. 1 metro in the nation for the second year in a row in a report released last week by the Milken Institute.

“It’s a great time to live in Provo,” said Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi in response to the report.

The report stated the Provo-Orem metro secured the top spot thanks to “a dynamic high-tech sector, educated workforce and business-friendly tax and regulatory climate.”

According to the report, Provo-Orem’s success is evidenced by that fact that, in the past five years, the area’s wage growth was 19 percent ahead of the U.S. economy, job growth was 17.5 percent faster than the national average and the tech sector grew 31 percent faster. 

For many, including Mayor Kaufusi, the report validates the hard work and innovation of Provo residents.

Graphic by Sydnee Gonzalez

“I was thrilled to see Provo at the top of another nationwide ranking,” Kaufusi said. “Provo City works hard to help our community thrive. But a recognition like this is a recognition not just of our city organization, but also of our businesses, our non-profits, our educational sector (particularly BYU) and, of course, our incredible citizens. Congratulations to all who live or work here on this recognition.”

While Orem-Provo was ranked No. 1, the report still identified one of the area’s weaknesses: a tight labor market that struggles to support continued growth. However, the report also cited BYU as one of the cities’ two main assets in combating this problem.

“Brigham Young University attracts and educates students, supporting the local economy and a highly-skilled local workforce,” the report says.

BYU Media Relations Manager Todd Hollingshead said the university “makes a concentrated effort to help students prepare to contribute right out of college.”

Hollingshead pointed out that many BYU alumni have started successful businesses in the Provo-Orem area, including Qualtrics, Domo and Entrata.

“BYU graduates are smart, hardworking, have high integrity and make excellent employees,” Hollingshead said. “They care about their community and they are great hires no matter where they go.”

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