Words & Deeds

Forbes flip-flops rankings. Boise ain’t so great after all

After initially being named the No. 2 city for young professionals, Boise’s ranking just floated away.
After initially being named the No. 2 city for young professionals, Boise’s ranking just floated away. Statesman file

Sheesh, call it the 13th uncool thing about Boise.

After shocking the planet last month by ranking Boise as the second best city for young professionals in 2017, Forbes magazine has flip-flopped on us.

Blaming a data-importing error, the business website rejiggered its list and added a big zero to our number. That No. 2 is now a No. 20 — meaning Boise now rates behind hot spots such as Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan (No. 18) and Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Massachusetts (No. 14).

Sorry, Boise. Forbes hates us all.

Let’s be honest here, though. Even Sean Spicer would have stammered trying to explain that No. 2 ranking.

As noted in the Idaho Statesman’s initial article about the Forbes list, Boiseans have grown accustomed to reading about rising rent prices and low apartment vacancies, not to mention Idaho’s dependably low wages in comparison to other states. There also was that Statesman article in 2016 where millennials claimed they had to skip town in order to find decent pay and job prospects.

In Forbes’ original flawed ranking, it explained that “(Boise) makes the list thanks to strong job growth projections and a high percentage of adults with college degrees.” That line seems to have vanished, possibly because 30.3 percent of adults having a bachelor’s degree does not qualify as “high.”

Still, Forbes continues to claim that Boise might be the most surprising city to make the top 25.

“Despite a relatively low median salary,” Forbes says, we sneaked into the club “thanks to strong job growth projections and low unemployment. Boise also ranked 13th on our list of the best places for business, in part due to its fast-growing tech sector. Government and business, however, remain the strongest sectors.”

To compile the list, Forbes says it “used six metrics crucial to recent graduates: salary, rent, employment prospects, networking opportunities and social outlook.”

That’s all fine and dandy. Except that’s five metrics. Not six. (Did they forget job growth projections?)

Besides, if you’re a recent grad, aren’t there other important factors? Don’t forget, it wasn’t so long ago that Boise was named the "No. 1 spot for cheap beer, weed and a dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.”

Maybe Forbes should visit Boise. Seems like they owe us a cheap beer or two.

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