I was surprised to see Charleston listed tenth among American cities that had gained the most "innovation" jobs from 2005 to 2017.
The insular Southern city where the Civil War began with the firing on Fort Sumter joined such heavyweights as No. 1 San Francisco, No. 2 Seattle and No. 3 Silicon Valley on the high-tech jobs rankings compiled by the Brookings Institution, according to The New York Times.
Charleston fell far behind San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, No. 4 Boston and No. 5 San Diego. Those cities garnered nine out of 10 innovation jobs created in the country during those years, but Charleston's making the top 10 is impressive.
A charming city of old homes, fine restaurants and waterfront vistas is apparently drawing high-tech firms with its easy-going lifestyle. The home of the Daughters of the Confederacy and a towering monument to John C. Calhoun must also have a strong population of well-educated workers. I didn't realize that the College of Charleston and the Citadel were rivals to MIT.
I'm skeptical about such reports, although the Brookings Institution is highly regarded. San Francisco made the top spot, but the Wall Street Journal editorial page frequently chortles that the city by the bay is hemorrhaging jobs because of its high taxes and expensive housing. Other reports agree with the WSJ.
Charles Schwab Co., which might not qualify as an innovation company, recently announced that it will move its headquarters from San Francisco to Dallas.
Dallas was No. 3 for innovation jobs lost, according to the Brookings report. Who knew; I thought Dallas and the rest of Texas is booming.
Washington, which recently was awarded an Amazon headquarters, hit No. 6 on the negative list. Chicago led the lost jobs category, followed by Philadelphia. Los Angeles came in at No. 4. Poor Wichita, Kansas, was No. 5.
Charleston before the Civil War led the nation in the slave trade. Now it beats Los Angeles in gaining innovation jobs.