Milken Institute Ranks Bend-Redmond #5 in Best-Performing Small Cities

Bend-Redmond jumped five positions to fifth place in Milken Institute’s recently released 2023 Best-Performing Cities study. The Los Angeles-based Milken Institute compiles their listing annually. The metropolitan areas included in these rankings generated almost 90% of the national GDP in 2021 and the study provides a valuable framework for evaluating the relative performance of US cities. The report noted growth of the region’s concentration of high-tech industry and robust broadband access as key strengths for the ranking.

The study explained, “High tech and the digital economy played a key role in the country’s recovery from the pandemic, allowing work and education to continue during the initial stage, and driving growth, wages, and employment in the later stages. The high-tech sector produced more than $2.8 trillion of net output in 2021, growing by 11.3 percent in real terms between 2020 and 2021.”

According to data from the Oregon Employment Department, average employment for Central Oregon’s high tech sector has grown by 50% over the past 5-year period and 142% in the past decade. In 2021, average industry wages paid in Central Oregon were $116,579, accounting for over $460 million in covered payroll for the region.

Growth in the average employment and number of establishments in Central Oregon's high tech sector

Source: Nicole Ramos, Oregon Employment Department, Central and South Central Regional Economist

Jon Stark, CEO of EDCO, said, “Growth in jobs and wages across the Bend-Redmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to outpace those of other similarly sized cities. These statistics indicate the benefits of a broad-based economy for thriving industries such as high tech. Companies are attracted to start, move and grow their businesses in areas with a concentration of high-skilled talent and incredible high quality of life. While the area faces challenges like affordable housing and availability of industrial lands, this study highlights the strengths of our region in attracting and growing businesses.”

The full Best-Performing Cities study can be found here.

For Press Inquiries:
Nicole Mcnew
Director of Marketing and Communications, EDCO
541.388.3236 x6