The best cities for businesses and careers

Pacific Northwest cities rank high on Forbes' latest list of Best Places for Businesses and Careers, Kurt Badenhausen writes.

To make the list, Forbes considered more than a dozen indicators of business climate, including job growth, costs of business and of living, income growth, quality of life, and education level. Forbes analysts used demographic data from Moody's Analytics, Sperling's BestPlaces, and the U.S. Census Bureau, Cushman & Wakefield Strategic Consulting, Experian, and other sources.

According to Forbes, here are the top 10 cities for businesses and careers:

1. Portland, OR

2. Raleigh, NC

3. Seattle, WA

4. Denver, CO

5. Des Moines, IA

6. Provo, UT

7. Charlotte, NC

8. Austin, TX

9. Atlanta, GA

10. Dallas, TX

You might be surprised by Portland's place at the top of the list, Badenhausen writes, because the metro area includes just one publicly traded company with sales over $3 billion annually (Nike). However, several other companies have offices in the city, including Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Boeing. Other contributing factors include the metro area's 36 universities and comparatively low unemployment rate (4%), Badenhausen writes.

Seattle has ranked highly on several recent city rankings. It came in ninth on Bloomberg's index of the smartest cities in America, sixth on SmartAsset's list of top cities for new college grads, and fifth among large cities for college grads on a similar ranking from the American Institute for Economic Research (Badenhausen, Forbes, 10/24).

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