Longview and Tyler have ranked in the top ten of the 2012 'Best-Performing Small Cities' by the Milken Institute.
The institute's annual index looks at job growth (five-year, one-year), salary growth and the number of high-tech industries in the area.
The Longview metropolitan area (defined as Gregg, Upshur and Rusk counties) ranked sixth in the report (up three spots from last year's report), while Tyler came in ninth (up 11 spots from last year's report).
Tom Mullins of the Tyler Economic Development Council said this shows the large economic growth Tyler has made.
"People are coming here from all over East Texas, because we have jobs, not only in energy, but in education, in medicine, in technology, retail services. There are a lot of things happening in our economy that make it a regional center for jobs," Mullins said.
Gregg County judge Bill Stoudt said the ranking shows the hard work of the city.
"It's a great showing of what we've been trying to do here over the last decade, with being aggressive, tracking businesses, creating jobs, becoming a retail cross hub for regional shopping," Judge Stoudt said.
Both cities saw 'above average' job growth over five-year and one-year periods surveyed in the report.
Longview ranked eighth in smaller metros in wage and salary growth over five-year and one-year periods in the report.
"Natural gas prices declined significantly in early 2012, which reduced the exploration of natural gas," Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute, said. "But the oil side of the business is still doing well – you think about smaller metros in Texas like Tyler, Odessa, Midland that are very oil-specific, they did very well, in the top ten among our small best-performing cities."
In large metros, Texas made three appearances in the Top 10. Austin-Round Rock came in second on Best-Performing Large Cities in the report.
The area held on to its high-ranking thanks in part to tech companies locating offices in Austin. The area ranked third nationally in job growth over the 2006-2011 time period and ranked seventh nationally in one year wage/salary growth.
Other Texas cities in the top ten include Houston (4) and Fort Worth-Arlington (10). Dallas made the list at 14th Best-Performing City.
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