A US-based think tank revealed that Kuala Lumpur was ranked Asia’s 6th top performing city, placing ahead of overachievers Singapore and Shanghai, due to its “impressive job growth”.
According to its statement, the Milken Institute‘s first survey into the economic performance of Asia’s major cities was based on job and income growth, and the strength of industries on the ground and the economic value they add.
The institue’s report, “The Best-Performing Cities Asia 2014: The Region’s Most Dynamic Economies” listed six Chinese cities in its top 10, with Shenzhen taking the top spot.
Guangzzhou took second place, with Chengdu and Tianjin in third and fourth places respectively. Right above KL was Delhi, in India. Singapore placed eighth on the list, while Shanghai came in at #10.
“Above all other factors, it is job creation that drives the formation and expansion of the middle class in Asia’s most dynamic cities,” said Ross DeVol, the Milken Institute’s chief research officer and one of the authors of the study, according to The Malay Mail Online.
The report noted that KL recorded the third-highest job growth in Asia over the past five years, and its ranking was bolstered by its high per-capita household income.
Unemployment in KL was at a rate of 3.2% last year, with a labour force of 900,000. The study also noted that 35% of KL’s workforce has tertiary education.
“… with a large domestic market and an established financial sector, Kuala Lumpur has lots of opportunity for future growth,” the report said.
The study did not, however, factor in cost-of-living comparisons or quality-of-live conditions such as pollution or commute times.
The study took care to note that Singapore, being the only developed economy, being included in the top 10 was remarkable, seeing as how the study’s calculation of cities’ rate of growth.
“The city-state is an economic role model on how to transition from a low-cost location to an open international economy, based on human capital, research, and innovation capacities,” it said.