Forbes: Atlantic City Among Best Places for Business and Careers

Well, it's the worst of the best.

And the hits just keep on coming for good old Atlantic City. Yesterday, I reported that Conde Nast Traveler had declared A.C. to be one of the world’s most unfriendly cities, even more unfriendly than Moscow and Los Angeles (jeez!). And now, Forbes has some more bad news for the Jersey Shore town.

On Thursday, Forbes released its annual list of the “Best Places for Business and Careers“. Unlike the Conde Nast Traveler list, which was based on the results of a thoroughly unscientific readers’ poll, the Forbes list was based on, you know, actual numbers. And those numbers did not paint a pleasant picture of the A.C. economy, relative to some of the other cities on the list. (And, no, there’s not one mention of the travesty that is Revel.)

Oh, to be fair, Forbes is not actually calling A.C. the worst place for business and careers. It is, after all, a “best of” list, not a “worst of” list. But of the 200 cities included on the list, A.C. is at the very bottom, which makes it the worst of the best, I guess.

Here are some of the key factors reported by Forbes:

• Atlantic City’s population is 275,500.

• Median household income is $52,315; household income declined by 0.7%.

• The gross metro product is $14.2 billion.

• Unemployment stands at 12.9% while job growth for 2012 was 0.5%.

• The cost of living is 11.1% above the national average.

Forbes reports the “college attainment” in Atlantic City at 22.7%.

Still, even though Atlantic City is at the very bottom of the list, the Forbes blurb about A.C. isn’t all that bad:

Atlantic City is considered the Gambling Capital of the East Coast and is second to Las Vegas in number of casinos, yearly gaming revenue, and number of rooms.

Along with its booming tourist industry, the city is home to the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm, the first onshore coastal wind farm in the U.S. The city boasts that the new development in wind energy could potentially lead to the construction of the first American wind farm using offshore wind power off the coast of Atlantic City in the near future.

The city’s Tourism District is home to a number of sites including the Marina District, Ducktown, Chelsea, South Inlet, Bader Field, and Gardner’s Basin, home to the Atlantic City Aquarium. Colleges in the area include Atlantic Cape Community College and Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

(Have these people ever been to the Atlantic City Aquarium? It smells.)

Here’s how some other area cities fared on the Forbes list:

Wilmington: 59
Philadelphia: 83
Harrisburg: 107
Allentown: 110
Camden: 130
Scranton: 131
Lancaster: 177
Reading: 185
York: 187

(Yes, apparently Wilmington, Delaware is a much better place for business and careers than Philadelphia… Hmm…)

And the best place in the entire country for business and careers? Des Moines, Iowa. Heck, I’ll take Atlantic City any day over that corn-fed Midwestern town.