It’s always nice to have some extra perspective.

In a story we published earlier in the week about the Yuba City Metropolitan Statistical Area’s recent climb in ranking (we’re now in the top 100), it was John Cassidy, CEO of Sierra Central Credit Union, who reminded us that in 1985 the Rand McNally’s “Places Rated Almanac” ranked the Yuba City MSA as the worst in the U.S. – we came in 329th of 329 MSAs, nationwide.

In the 35 years since then, the data shows quite a difference. The independent economic research firm POLICOM, in an annual ranking of MSAs put Yuba City 99th out of 384, according to a news release from Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation.

An MSA, by definition, has at  least one urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000 and adjacent areas with a high degree of social and economic integration. MSAs are named after the largest city in the area. Part of the value of this ranking is that it comes unsolicited from an independent third party.

We started moving up in rankings some time back, but things accelerated in the last few years. Back in 2015, we were ranked 274. Up 175 places since then ... not too shabby.

Brynda Stranix of the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation cited factors that helped us rise closer to the top.

– Unemployment has declined in the area. And unemployment has long been one of our weak points. It was 6.9 percent in December 2018 and dropped to 6.3 a year later. Even more people have been put to work since that, especially with the opening of the Hard Rock casino, as well as incremental increases in other businesses around the area. 

– Wages increased by 3 percent over the last four quarters.

– The number of jobs to be occupied in the MSA is projected to expand by 244 over the next year – primarily in health care and social assistance.

– The gross domestic product of the area expanded 5.9 percent in 2018, after growing 4.8 percent the year before.

A higher place in such rankings informs us, as well as prospective businesses and residents. It’s like a checkup ... our condition is better, and we should be realizing benefits from it. And businesses looking to grow or move will have a better opinion of our area.

A lot factors into a business deciding to expand or move. Potential is a big one. If you want to grow, you want to be some place where growth is the norm or is expected to be.

“People should be really excited about the future,” Cassidy said in that story. “There so much here already and there’s so much coming.”

Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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