A year ago, Reno's economic performance ranked 17th among the 394 metropolitan areas in the nation. As recently as 2014, when Reno still was struggling to free itself from the mire of the Great Recession, the city ranked 210th.
Underpinning the region's economic strength are hundreds of new jobs at companies that make things - whether it's batteries for Tesla automobiles or sophisticated software for marketing professionals.
Area Development found that Reno ranked sixth in the nation in the pace that it added goods-producing jobs in the past year. Those are critical jobs because goods made in the Reno and sold throughout the world bring fresh dollars into the local economy, helping to support retail and service businesses. The researchers found that workers in the Reno area are beginning to see more in their paychecks, perhaps because employers need to offer more money to attract workers in a region where unemployment stands at just 3.3 percent.
Reno Area Job Growth
To help track growth trends, Area Development recently released its 8th annual "Leading Metro Locations" report that takes a multifaceted look at 394 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and ranks them based on "Prime Workforce," "Economic Strength," "Year-Over-Year Growth," and "Five-Year Economic Growth." The results come from crunching a wide variety of data and are culminated in its list of "Leading Metro Locations."
As was the case last year, northern California - especially the San Francisco Bay area - and the Pacific and Mountain regions made a good showing in this year's report. In fact, 14 of the top 20 metros in the survey are in the Pacific or Mountain regions.
The top three are San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, and Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley. These locations benefit from clusters of high-tech and biotech companies and renowned institutions of higher education, including UCSF, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, that provide a steady stream of skilled workers and R&D.