GARY | Forbes Magazine has ranked the Gary area 39th among the largest 100 U.S. metropolitan areas on its list of Best Cities for Jobs in 2008.
The ranking was touted Friday by Mayor Rudy Clay, who pointed out it outranked such cities as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Salt Lake City won the top spot on the Forbes list, while Indianapolis raked sixth.
"We have to say to the world we're doing good things in Gary, Indiana," Clay said at a press conference to announce the listing. "There's a brighter economic forecast on the horizon."
To compile the list, Forbes said it used five, equally weighted data points: the state's unemployment rate, job growth, income growth, median household income and cost of living, for year 2006.
It measured the largest 100 metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and obtained the data from Moody's Economy.com. The list doesn't weigh specifics, such as job composition or job stability.
The Gary area's latest ranking was up from 89th in 2006 and 84th in 2007.
Clay said he hopes his efforts to improve relationships with the state, as well as ongoing local and state economic development initiatives, will help Gary and Northwest Indiana become Indiana's "premier area for economic growth."
"Gary's proximity to the Chicago consumer market provides the best opportunity for Indiana to experience the type of growth seen over the past two decades in Indianapolis and southern Indiana," Clay said.
Attracting jobs and job placement are among the city's largest initiatives, Clay said.
In order to provide more jobs for residents, Gary has established a Jobs Resource Center in City Hall. The center has "hundreds of jobs in its databases," Clay said.
"We want people who want jobs to come to City Hall," Clay said. "We're going to train you, show you where the jobs are and give you the backing of the administration. ... This is the beginning."