The Boston metropolitan area ranked second in an annual measure of economic competitiveness as developed by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. In the Eighth Annual Metro Area
Competitiveness Report released last week, Boston is second to Seattle. Salt Lake City finished third.
The Institute defines competitiveness as “the policies and conditions that ensure and sustain a high level of per capita income and its continued growth.” The report assigns 38 variables to eight categories – government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy – and combines these eight measures into a single “competitiveness index.”
“Even amid a severe recession, Boston remains a very competitive metropolitan area,” said Frank Conte, Project Manager for the Metro Competitiveness Index, published annually since 2002.
“The downturn tends to take our eye away from the long-term picture: Boston’s future rests
on solid and diverse economic fundamentals that other regions should envy,” he said. “Boston continues to benefit from the high quality of its labor force, its strength in high-tech and its role as a financial center.”
The region ranked first for the percent of population with health insurance.
Boston’s ability to attract federal research dollars and generate new patents has not lost momentum since the Institute began tracking these indicators. The region’s weaknesses did not diminish its deep strengths; it remains a costly place to conduct business. Poor or middling performances of the region were rooted in the sub-indices of government and fiscal policy (unemployment benefits and state bond ratings) as well as infrastructure (electricity prices, travel-time to work and monthly median housing costs).
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