Sheridan Ranks 5th in Economic Strength

POLICOM Corporation has just released its 2012 study ranking Sheridan as the 5th highest in economic strength of all “micropolitans” in the nation – 5th out of 576 “micropolitans” (the firm’s term for communities with a population of 10,000-50,000). The study defines economic strength as rapid, consistent economic growth in both size and quality, over an extended period of time. And we’re #5 in the country!

The top 5 micropolitans in the 2012 Economic Strength Rankings are:  
     1st – Concord, NH 
     2nd – Helena, MT
     3rd – Lexington Park, MD
     4th – Gillette, WY 
     5th – Sheridan, WY
     (Sheridan ranked 11th in 2011)

See the Sheridan Press story in its 6/7/12 issue (reprinted below) that gives more information and includes comments from Jay Stender (Forward Sheridan) and Dixie Johnson (Sheridan County Chamber).  And click here for more information about POLICOM, the study and methodology, and the rankings of all 366 metropolitan and 576 micropolitan areas.

This is just more evidence that Sheridan – and Sheridan County – is a great place to live and do business, and is getting even better.

POLICOM Corporation is an independent economics research firm based in Palm City, Florida, which specializes in analyzing local and state economies and economic development.

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From the The Sheridan Press, June 7, 2012 (reprinted with permission):

A Strong Economic Base:
Firm ranks Sheridan fifth among smaller cities
by: Taylor Street

Sheridan has one of the fastest growing, most stable economies among micropolitan areas in the United States, according to POLICOM Corporation, an independent research firm based in Palm City, Fla.

POLICOM released its 2012 Economic Strength Rankings study June 1, ranking Sheridan fifth out of 576 micropolitan areas – cities with smaller economies and populations of 10,000-50,000. POLICOM ranked Concord, N.H. as the top micropolitan area.

“The top rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time,” William Fruth, POLICOM president, said in a press release. “The rankings do not reflect the lastest ‘hotspot’ or ‘boom town,’ but the areas have the best economic foundation. While most commuities have slowed or declined during this recession, the strongest areas have been able to weather the storm.” 

Jay Stender, executive director of Forward Sheridan, echoed Fruth’s sentiments.

“The big thing is the consistency of our economy didn’t fluctuate nearly as much as other parts of the country.” Stender said, “Our workforce wages have remained consistent, even though there has been some fall-off.”

Stender attributed Sheridan’s economic growth and stability to education, health care and mining, all industries that fluctuated little during the recent economic downturn.

“The driver is that we have several industries that haven’t really fluctuated,” Stender said. “The key thing is Sheridan has continued to have a consistent economic sector and has shown marked improvement over the years.”

Dixie Johnson, executive director of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, said Sheridan has the “complete package,” drawing people to move here and possibly start businesses.

“Sheridan probably hasn’t been on people’s radars in years past,” Johnson said. “But Wyoming is really making a name for itself with the state’s balanced budget.

“Sheridan is one of the most attractive places in the state to move or start a business. I think people want to live in an area where they can work and also play. Sheridan is truly an area where you can have it all.”

Johnson talked about the community’s numerous amenities – the Bighorn Mountains, Sheridan County school districts, The Powder Horn golf comunity and downtown – that contribute to Sheridan’s stable economy.

Accoding to POLICOM’s study synopsis, the study addressed “the condition of an economy from the viewpoint of its impact on the ‘standard of living’ of people who live and work in the area.

“The highest ranked areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time.” 

POLICOM first began ranking micropolitan areas in 2002. In 2004, Sheridan was ranked 112th in the rankings. Over the last eight years, Sheridan’s economic strength has consistently grown and remained stable. 

POLICOM determines economic strength based on three sectors: the overall growth in size and quality – such as per capita total worker earnings, earnings by place of residence, wages, salaries and earnings of workers – construction and retail industries and the growth of “negative sectors” such as welfare and medicaid.

Wyoming has a total of seven micropolitan areas, all of which POLICOM ranked in the top 100: Gillette ranked fourth, Rock Springs ranked 29th, Jackson 36th, Evanston 47th, Riverton 71st and Larmie 96th.

In POLICOM’s metropolitan rankings – cities with a population over 50,000 – Washington, D.C. was ranked first. Wyoming’s two metropolitan cities, Cheyenne and Casper, ranked 53rd and 133rd, respectively.

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