Forbes’ 2018 rankings of “Best Cities for Business Service Jobs” saw a few key Midwestern hubs shoot up the rankings as their business economies prosper. In the top 25 alone of U.S. cities, Kansas City, Missouri (3rd), Indianapolis, Indiana (15th), and Louisville, Kentucky (24th) stood out in the eyes of Forbes experts as two places in the region increasing their value to white-collar employees.
With inexpensive housing, an overall low cost of living, but an emphasized role of business, Kansas City has seen dramatic growth recently in the business sector. Though Sun Belt towns in states like Texas performed very well on the list, including Austin, Texas at No. 1 overall, the Forbes report noted that Midwestern cities like Kansas City have some appeal that not even those cities have.
“It’s the 11th least expensive out of the 53 major U.S. metropolitan areas,” the report read. “It also has some things most Sun Belt cities lack — for one, a large, historic downtown — and is among the easiest American cities to get around.”
Companies that have recently added jobs to the city include CVS, Amazon, GM, Ford, and Honeywell, among other well-known brand names.
Both Indianapolis and Kansas City were also recognized on an outside index as having the least congested traffic of any of the world’s metro areas that contain more than 1 million people.
In Indianapolis and Louisville, researchers noted that services catering to businesses and professionals have grown significantly since 2012, along with population growth.
Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati ranked from 58th to 70th in the list and show they still have some improvement to do after positive press recently regarding their transformations from rust-belt leftovers to reenergized cities.
In terms of methodology, the Forbes rankings looked at the following categories: employment growth rates, mid-term growth, long-term momentum, current year growth, and the average of each year’s growth rate.