OAKLAND, CA-Washington, DC and the Riverside-San Bernardino area of Southern California’s Inland Empire have the best mix of ingredients for good economic performance, according to a new analysis by locally based Foresight Analytics, an economic and real estate consulting and research firm. Orlando, Tampa and Phoenix rounded out the top five.

Company principal Matt Anderson tells GlobeSt.com the scoring process is weighted toward employment growth but also includes four other categories that helps create a more complete picture of economic health and growth prospects. Those categories are: Productivity/Innovation, which measures economic output per person and patent filings; Business Climate, which looks at tax rates and availability of capital; Economic Composition, which rates an area’s exposure to different employment sectors and the outlook for those sectors; and Risk, which measures employment growth volatility and correlation with national trends.

“We’re trying to find cities with all the right ingredients for good economic performance,” says Anderson, who with partner Susan Persin has 30 years of real estate industry experience. “We think employment growth is an important factor; however, it is not the only measure of economic relevancy.”

All of the top five metro areas have experienced rapid job growth, and boast high rankings in other components of Foresight’s Market Score methodology, says Anderson. Placing fifth through 10th were San Diego, Las Vegas, Houston, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

Anderson says San Francisco and the Silicon Valley score very well in a couple of categories, such as productivity/innovation and economic composition, but do relatively poorly in some other areas like risk. “Recent economic growth has been quite weak,” he says.

Here’s a breakdown of the look at what Foresight’s had to say about the top five markets on their list, and Philadelphia, which surprised Anderson says by ranking in the top 10:

Washington DC Economic Market Score: 7.9 (out of 10). Washington benefits from the presence of the federal government. Other industries either support the government or are by-products of the government’s presence, including legal services, consulting, high-technology, biotechnology, and tourism. The market is an all-round good performer, which is to say that while it did not rank first in any one category, it ranked high enough in each that it ended upon top.

Riverside-San Bernardino Economic Market Score: 7.9. The area has developed a strong distribution network in an era of increasing international trade. As a nearby, but more affordable, alternative to coastal Southern California, Riverside-San Bernardino boasts a booming population that fuels demand for consumer goods and homes. The metro area tops the nation in the Economic Growth Score, with strong historical and forecasted job growth trends. It is also a relatively low-risk market, compared to other US metros.

Orlando, Tampa and Phoenix Economic Market Score: 7.4. These cities are in a tie for third place. Each has added a large number of jobs, and their outlook for future job growth is strong. Led by tourism and technology, Orlando and Tampa score especially well in their economic composition.

Philadelphia Economic Market Score: 7.1. Philadelphia is a potentially surprising addition to the list of top markets. Although not top-ranked for employment growth, its ability to commercialize science in the form of patents issued causes it to rank well in Productivity and Innovation. The number and diversity of large companies based in Philadelphia also results in a high Economic Composition ranking.

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