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.
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