REDDING, Calif. — Redding has seen sizable economic growth in recent years, and one national think-tank has taken notice.
The Milken Institute, an economic think-tank based in Santa Monica, has ranked Redding as the fourth-best economic small city in the country. Redding leaped up 59 slots from 63 in 2021 and now rests in the top-5, alongside 4 other non-California cities.
The Milken Institute releases these economic rankings every year. They split up American cities and their metropolitan areas into two tiers: large and small; a top both lists were metropolitans in Utah.
The core components for Milken's calculations are job creation, wage growth, output growth, and, starting this past year, the housing market. Of course, the pandemic has caused financial chaos nationwide, making this data even more unique.
According to the Shasta Economic Development Corporation (Shasta EDC), a big reason for Redding's rapid development was COVID.
"We added, from December 2019 to December of 2021, really the core of the pandemic, we added net new jobs," said Todd Jones, president of Shasta EDC. "[We were] the only MSA, the only area in the entire state of California, that was able to do that."
Jones credits Shasta County's willingness to stay open these past two years as a primary cause. "Although it was modest, the state average [for job growth] was negative 4.1%—ours was 0.3% in the positive."
For Jones, it's time to keep the foot on the gas. "You got to continue the forward momentum that we're on. We have a lot of success right now. Obviously, looking at downtown, looking at air travel... businesses are continuing to grow still."
According to Jones, from March of 2021 to March of 2022, Redding saw almost a 20% increase in wage growth. He mentioned companies like Ted Pella and Pace Engineering as organizations that have significantly boosted the economic layout these past two years. Jones also credited Shasta County leadership for accepting and encouraging new business.
There are a total of 384 identified MSA's (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the United States. Overall, Redding falls in at 239 on that list. However, in terms of wage growth, Jones told us that the city is in the top-25.
In other words: business is booming.
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