New York, London Top New Ranking of 1,000 Global Cities


When it comes to ranking the best cities in the world, it’s a crowded field and an inexact science. But there’s a new player in town.

Oxford Economics on Tuesday released its inaugural Global Cities Index, which it calls a “comprehensive evaluation of the world’s 1,000 largest urban economies.”

The economic forecaster crunched the numbers for 27 indicators to determine that New York, London and San Jose, California, are the world’s top cities, in a list whose first 50 places were dominated by the US and Europe. Aside from Tokyo, in fourth place, Asia’s next showing was Seoul in 41st position and Singapore in 42nd.

Australian cities fared better, with Melbourne in ninth place, Sydney in the 16th spot, and Perth in 23rd.

The Index was compiled using five broad categories — economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance — with weighting placing most emphasis on economic factors such as GDP and employment growth.

“Our Global Cities Index provides a consistent framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the largest 1,000 cities across the world, and when coupled with our forecasts, it enables organizations and policymakers to make more informed strategic decisions,” said Mark Britton, director of city services at Oxford Economics, based in Oxford, England.

New York City “has the largest economy of any city in the world by far,” Oxford Economics said, along with stable growth, allowing it to dominate the Economics category. London took the Human Capital category because of its wealth of top universities and global corporate headquarters, the report said. Grenoble, France, offers the best quality of life due to a lack of income inequality and the number of cultural offerings per capita. The two leaders ranked well down the list for their quality of life, with New York at 278th and London at 292nd.

These were the top five cities in each of the five categories:

Economics (including GDP size, growth, and economic diversity) :

  1. New York, US
  2. Los Angeles, US
  3. San Jose, US
  4. Seattle, US
  5. San Francisco, US

Human Capital (including educational attainment, corporate headquarters, and population growth):

  1. London, UK
  2. Tokyo, Japan
  3. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  4. New York, US
  5. Seoul, South Korea

Quality of Life (including life expectancy, income per person, and recreation & cultural sites):

  1. Grenoble, France
  2. Canberra, Australia
  3. Bern, Switzerland
  4. Bergen, Norway
  5. Basel, Switzerland

Environment (including air quality, natural disasters, and temperature anomalies):

  1. Suva, Fiji
  2. Fortaleza, Brazil
  3. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  4. Natal, Brazil
  5. Wellington, New Zealand

Governance (scores are calculated at a national level so countries are shown to represent the major cities, with indicators including institutions, political stability, and civil liberties):

  1. New Zealand
  2. Denmark
  3. Finland
  4. Norway
  5. Sweden
  6. They didn’t walk at their 2020 high school graduations. They entered college at the height of remote learning and campus lockdowns. And now they’re finishing exams amid nationwide protests and preparing to enter a job market that’s hard for many to navigate.

    Coming up to the podium — the class of 2024.

    Tainted by the pandemic, this outgoing class of seniors had anything but a typical college experience. Most are ready to enter the “real world.” Yet the class — again — needs to adjust their expectations. Even the best of students are facing an endless web of job applications, ambiguous timelines, and countless rejections.

    On the surface, the US job market is strong. Unemployment is low, and there’s been significant job growth in certain areas including health care. However, getting on a path to a well-paid job in finance, consulting, and technology — top destinations for ambitious students — is getting more difficult with greater competition for fewer entry-level positions.

    US employers are hiring at the slowest pace in nearly a decade, excluding a brief dip during the early pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fewer workers are leaving their positions after layoffs at companies such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup Inc. And confidence among entry-level workers is the lowest in Glassdoor data going back to 2016.

    It all adds up to another challenging moment in the lives of the Class of 2024. Many are finding it difficult to get a foot in the door, even if their internships and work experience weren’t obviously disrupted by the pandemic.

    Hundreds of Applications

    Ryan Lin thought he had his post-Carnegie Mellon University plan figured out. He scored a software engineering internship at Intuit Inc. in summer 2023, after applying almost a year in advance. Part of the reason he jumped on the opportunity was because he heard they had a high return-offer rate.

    But after his internship ended, that offer never materialized.

    Now, after applying to about 600 job postings, he decided it was time to settle on another offer. But he said he was disappointed. A lot of the same companies he targeted before — including Google and Inc. — seemed to have far fewer job postings at his level than before, Lin said.

    “I was expecting that with some kind of big-tech experience, plus my past research experience at school, that at least I would get more responses than I have,” he said.

    Strains in the entry-level job market have been building for at least a year. Unemployment for recent college graduates ticked up again in March — even as the rate held steady for all college graduates. But it was only a couple years ago graduating seniors were able to leverage multiple job offers and negotiate higher compensation.

    Now, career counselors — including those at Rice University in Houston, Texas — are encouraging students to “think broadly” and focus less on big company names. Meta Platforms Inc., for instance, was a top employer for Rice seniors in 2022, but last year the tech company didn’t hire any graduates, according to the school’s career center.

    Tech Pulls Back

    The rapidly evolving landscape for artificial intelligence should be creating demand for new hires with expertise in machine learning and data science. But it could also be that the technology itself is removing the need for entry-level workers.

    David Halek, a director of Yale University’s career center, said the discontent has been palpable among computer science majors. Halek said seniors have expressed frustration about sending out hundreds of applications and not hearing anything back. Some even believe this could be due to a phenomenon called “ghost postings,” where companies post openings to make it look like they are hiring when they’re not. He’s advised students to be open to alternative opportunities and remain flexible.

    That’s a mantra Amisha Gupta, who’s graduating from the University of Washington’s human-centered design and engineering program, has taken to heart her whole college experience.

    Her freshman year she stayed in India with her family and remembers taking classes at midnight and exams at 2 a.m. The campus was a “ghost town” when she moved to Seattle in January 2021. And when she didn’t get a return offer from Apple Inc. after an internship related to project management, she said she spent months scouring career pages at the companies she was interested in.

    She has secured an offer from a big tech company but has yet to accept it. The most frustrating part of the whole process, for her, was the uncertainty of the timelines and the lack of opportunities she saw online.

    “I thought the market was bad last year when I was interning,” Gupta said. “I thought the market was bad for 2023 new grads. And then in December, I was like, ‘This is worse than that.’ I thought nothing would be worse than that.”

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