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STUDY: Job Growth Good, Wages Unimpressive in Santa Cruz County

What should be done to improve the county's ranking?

Santa Cruz County is the 123rd best-performing metropolitan area in the country, a new study has found. 

According to the Milken Institute, the local economy, health and entrepreneurship place the county in similar company with Merced and Sonoma County, which ranked 119th and 128th, respectively.

The annual study shows significant improvement in Santa Cruz County, which was ranked 161st in 2011. 

While local salary growth was unimpressive from 2005-2010, ranking 159th in the country, local job growth since 2010 has been remarkably better, ranking 64th of all metropolitan areas in the United States. 

Play with the interactive database here to see other cities

The Milken Institute says their economists and policy experts "focus on three major imperatives: creating jobs; improving health; and ensuring that capital is available to launch entrepreneurs, new technologies and great ideas." 

Tell us below what should be done to improve the Santa Cruz region on this list. 

Silicon Valley shot from 51st to number one on the list this year, according to the rankings. The Milken Institute says the reason is that "tech is back." The Silicon Valley had only been at the top one other time in history — in 2001, during the first tech bubble.  

2012 Rank 2011 Rank Job Growth Rank 2006-2011 Job Growth Rank 2010-2011 Salaries Growth Rank 2005-2010 123 161 170 64 159
beviej January 23, 2013 at 03:25 PM
One thing that won't help is raising the minimum wage. It is o.k. for the corporations BUT for the very small business owner it means less hiring, less service for customers and the very real possibility of going out of business. I had a restaurant and that is what happened.
As IC it January 23, 2013 at 06:29 PM
The reality is that people are making much less in terms of earning power at minim wages levels than they did ten years go. It's no wonder that growing pot is the county's number one industry.
Cb Jazz January 23, 2013 at 09:30 PM
The problem is all the real estate speculation, and the resulting huge costs of housing and running a business. Santa Cruz has been encouraging this by relying on real estate taxes and building permits fees for most of its funding, and the result his been overbuild super-expensive housing and commercial real estate, owned by non-resident investors looking to collect. As long as income and housing/business cost do not make a healthy picture, the young and innovative are going to live where they can make a living.
Angela Elmore- Gallardo January 23, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Yes- these days employers want you to be office manager, bookkeeper, receptionist, etc. all for under $16 per hour!!!! I don't get it... They are doing this knowing that people have no choice but to take it. We have no value anymore... So sad.
Michael A. Lewis January 24, 2013 at 02:43 AM
No, no! Job growth bad! "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." Ed Abbey

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