Huntsville ranked third as best place to live and work
By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Adding to the list of recognition's for economic stability and desirability, the city of Huntsville has been ranked third in the nation's best places to live and work in America by Employment Review magazine.
Information released from the office of Barbara Nash, director of communications for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, indicated that the national publication basis its list on community economics, substantial job growth, good schools, recreation, cultural events, along with other factors.
The magazine regarded Huntsville as a leader in technological advancement, which has played a major role in the country's missile and space programs, brought strong industries including telecommunications, computers, electronics, manufacturing and biotechnology to the area.
Huntsville was described as a highly prosperous city with affordability being cited as the key. The city was also credited with maintaining a stable economy during unstable times and being a leader in technological advancement.
Another determining factor contributing to the city's high ranking was the average annual salary per employee – second only to Atlanta in the south as well above state and national averages. The Huntsville metro area's favorable cost of living index information and a 17 percent growth rate to 2008 added to its attractiveness in overall competition for the top spots. The average annual salary per employee is $33,798.
Other credits to the city's ranking were the cost of living index at 92.5 percent; housing costs – with a median price home averaging $105,500; a state income tax ranging from two to five percent; a 4.1 percent unemployment rate; and a 17 percent projected growth rate to 2008.
The top 20 cities ranked by the magazine include: Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.; Madison, Wis.; Huntsville; Tempe, Ariz.; Richmond, Va.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Houston, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Billings, Mont.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Cambridge, Mass.; Sacramento, Calif.; Athens, Ga.; Ames, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colo.; Chicago; Providence, R.I.; and Burlington, Va.
Editor's Note: The variety in the spelling of the states is according to the rules by The Associated Press.