Blacksburg metro area recognized for job growth

NewGeography.com has recognized the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area as the No. 29 Best City for Job Growth in the U.S.; No. 2 in Virginia.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 1, 2013

Montgomery County, Virginia
Economic Development Department

 
 

   
   
  NewGeography Ranking of Virginia Metro Areas
   Metro Area  Ranking
  Winchester 21
  Blacksburg 29
  Harrisonburg 90
  Northern VA 91
  Richmond 114
  Danville 127
  VA Beach 169
  Roanoke 217
  Bristol 281
  Lynchburg 291
  Charlottesville 296

Montgomery County, Virginia - NewGeography, a website devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where we live and work, has recognized the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as one of the best places in the U.S. for job growth.

Of 398 MSAs analyzed, NewGeography ranked the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area No. 29 on its list of the Best Cities for Job Growth for 2013, just one spot behind Silicon Valley (i.e. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA). The metro area had the second highest overall ranking in Virginia and ranked No. 17 nationally within the Small Cities category.

To compile the 2013 rankings of the best cities for job growth, NewGeography used an index comprised of these measures of growth: 1 ) recent growth trend: the current and prior year's employment growth rates, with the current year emphasized; 2) mid-term growth: the average annual 2007-2012 growth rate; 3) long-term trend and momentum: the sum of the 2007-2012 and 2001-2006 employment growth rates multiplied by the ratio of the 2001-2006 growth rate over the 2007-2012 growth rate; and 4) current year growth.

Montgomery County along with the city of Radford and the counties of Floyd, Giles and Pulaski comprise the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area. The region – known locally as the New River Valley – has a population of almost 200,000 and is designated a metropolitan statistical area by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget due to its high degree of economic and social integration.

NewGeography’s ranking of the Best Cities for Job Growth isn’t the first time the metro area has been recognized for its economic performance. Other notable third-party rankings include:

  • No. 32 Best-Performing Small City of 2012 (Milken Institute, 2013)
  • No. 2 American City Adding Jobs (24/7 Wall Street, 2012)
  • No. 32 Best Small Place for Business and Careers (Forbes, 2012)
  • No. 5 Best Small City for Jobs (Forbes, 2012)

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in Montgomery County - home of Virginia Tech and the towns of Blacksburg & Christiansburg - has jumped 9.2 percent since January 2010, dropping the unemployment rate from 8.6 percent to 6.5 percent.  During that period, the local economy added 3,737 net new jobs and annual wages have increased, on average, 5.5 percent or $2,005. 

Growth in Falling Branch Corporate Park and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center are positively impacting economic development in Montgomery County.  In 2012, over 261 new jobs were announced in Falling Branch Corporate Park by expanding companies, including Aeroprobe Corporation, Dish Network and Inorganic Ventures.  Backcountry.com also opened its $20 million, 216 person, East Coast fulfillment center in the park.  Employment in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC) - home to over 150 research, technology and support companies - has grown to over 2,600 people.  Just last month, San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting announced plans to expand in the CRC and create over 100 new jobs.

Montgomery County is also experiencing consistant population growth, likely due to its economic opportunities and quality of life.  Over the past decade, from 2002 to 2012, Montgomery County's population has grown to 95,626 - increasing 12.5 percent or 10,599 new residents.  In recent years, the community has received the following third-party accolades recognizing its quality life:

  • No. 2 Best Mid-Size Mountain Town (Blue Ridge Country Magazine, 2013)
  • No. 1 Best Place to Raise Kids/Family (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2011; Homes.com, 2012)
  • No. 19 Most Secure Place to Live (Farmers Insurance Group, 2010)
  • Top 50 Best Place to Live and Launch for its "mix of business and lifestyle appeal" (CNN Money, 2007)

For more information about living or doing business in Montgomery County, visit - www.YesMontgomeryVA.org.

About the Montgomery County Economic Development Department:

Montgomery County, Virginia - home of Virginia Tech and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg - is a progressive, technology-driven community with an abundance of outdoor amenities. The Montgomery County Economic Development Department actively supports the startup, retention and expansion of companies in Montgomery County as well as the recruitment of new businesses to the community. To learn more, visit www.YesMontgomeryVA.org.

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