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Ogden, Utah

Ogden in the Top 10 "Best Performing Cities"

market research utah county weber county May 03, 2021

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This is a follow up on some of the results in the recent Milken Institute economic index. Each year their report highlights the 'Best-Performing Cities" across the nation (by analyzing 400+ metropolitan areas). The institute conducts a deep dive into job growth/creation, fluctuation in wages, and even high-tech GDP growth. Their team then contrasts these trends against each other to discover the impact that individual cities have when driving economic growth across the country.

We'll take a look at how the Ogden-Clearfield, Utah metro performed in this post. Looking for the other top placers? Scroll down to the bottom of this post or read the full report, here.

Ogden, Utah Ranks Number 9

Economic Indicators

  • Job Growth: Ranked 20th. +16.6% (2014-19)
  • Job Growth: Ranked 15th. +2.7% (2018-19)
  • Wage Growth: Ranked 26th. +34.3% (2014-19)
  • Wage Growth: Ranked 52nd. +5.9% (2018-19)
  • Short-Term Job Growth: Ranked 2nd. +0.7% (10/2019-10/2020)
  • High-Tech GDP Growth: Ranked 73rd. +32.6% (2014-19)
  • High-Tech GDP Growth: Ranked 115th. +4.5% (2018-19)
  • High-Tech GDP Concentration: Ranked 102nd. LQ: 0.66 (2019)
  • Number of High-Tech Industries: Ranked 110th. 3 (2019)
  • Households with Broadband Access: Ranked 2nd. 93.9% (2019)
  • Households with affordable housing costs: Ranked 3rd. 77.3% (2014-18)
  • Households with affordable housing costs: Ranked 16th. 77.2% (2019)


  • Cost of doing business is relatively low.
  • Federal agencies provide stability to both employment and the economy.


  • Competition with Salt Lake and Utah Counties for employment.

Moving from 22nd place in 2020 to 9th place in 2021 says a lot about the local economy and the direction it's headed in the future. In summary, this jump in the rankings is due to it's job and wage growth indicators during the pandemic. Ogden is now second place in short-term job growth (one of only a few large cities (the only Tier 1 city) to achieve positive job growth over the last 12 months.

According to the City of Ogden, their software and technology industry is doing well. In just this sector, they've touted the following,

  • 663 Businesses

  • 5,957 jobs

  • $64,403 Avg. annual wage

  • +4.3% job growth (2010-2020)

Hill Air Force Base has been a rock to Ogden-Clearfield's success. The base provides over 25,000 jobs (payroll almost $1.5 billion) and dumps hundreds of millions into the economy in construction and service contracts. "Weber State University, located in Ogden, recently received a $50 million grant to expand the region’s high-tech sector to sustain growth." (Milken Report)

Top 13 "Best Performing Metros" 2021

BPC 2021: Top 10 Large Cities

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