PALM BAY, FLORIDA – The Milken Institute ranks Palm Bay as #2 on the 2021 Best Performing Cities Index (BPCI) emphasizing jobs, wages, innovation, and high-tech growth. Propelled by strong wage and job growth, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) rose eight ranks from 2020’s index, which placed the region at #10.
The Palm Bay MSA earned the second-place position among this year’s Best-Performing Large Cities, improving on its 2020 performance by transforming one-year gains into long-term, well-paying jobs. According to the Milken report, this continued success is largely due to a diversified, high-tech industrial base, including a significant concentration of the nation’s aerospace and defense industries. In 2020, the Palm Bay MSA accounted for over a tenth of total direct defense spending in the Sunshine State and boasts 11 industries with higher concentrations than the national average.
The BPCI report notes that the Palm Bay MSA’s economic resiliency is largely due to its dynamic, concentrated high-tech sector. The report also finds that the Space Coast’s capacity for economic recovery in 2021 is reliant on an alignment between the opportunities in high-tech industries and the area’s affordable cost of living. The Milken Institute anticipates continued success for the Palm Bay MSA as a result of its share of the national defense and aerospace industries and diversified industrial base.
The City is currently in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan to address land use challenges and provide increased flexibility for commercial zoning. City Council also entertained a series of economic development incentives and inducements designed to attract favorable commercial development and quality jobs for residents, thereby strengthening the City’s tax base and diversifying the local economy. By implementing these types of strategic initiatives, the City of Palm Bay seeks to build on recent successes to sustain a high level of performance and encourage long-term economic growth.
To read the Milken Institute’s 2021 BPCI report in its entirety, visit https://milkeninstitute.org/
sites/default/files/reports- pdf/Best-Performing-Cities- 2021.pdf