BizTimes Daily for Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - BizTimes
Defying the locally perceived template that Wisconsin is not a good place to do business, both Madison and Milwaukee ranked among the top 20 metro areas in the country for business, according to this year’s study by MarketWatch.com.
For the survey, MarketWatch scored the nation's 101 biggest metro areas - those with a population of more than 500,000 - on 10 metrics each. Five metrics measured the number of companies per capita in a metro area for a company concentration score. The remaining five metrics looked at the employment picture, growth and GDP for an economic stability score. The two scores were added together for a final tally. The highest tally went to Des Moines, Iowa, with 851 points, and the lowest was Youngstown, Ohio, with 164 points.
Madison ranked 12th 703 points, scoring particularly high in economic stability. Madison’s economy has been fueled by private sector growth in technology and biomedicine spurred by research at the University of Wisconsin.
Milwaukee ranked 20th with 643 points, scoring particularly high in company concentration. Milwaukee is home to publicly traded global manufacturers such as Johnson Controls Inc., Manpower Inc., Harley-Davidson Inc., Joy Global Inc., Bucyrus International Inc. and Rockwell Automation Inc., in addition to financial companies such as Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.
Des Moines ranked the highest, replacing Minneapolis-St. Paul, which had topped the charts in the first two years of the rankings.