The Milken Institute's annual Best-Performing Cities index ranks 200 large metros across the United States based on metrics such as job growth, job wages, and technology output, but excludes other metrics like cost-of-living, and quality-of-life conditions. 

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. is ranked top of the list, for its red-hot tech-fueled economy, high job growth, and average annual earnings reaching $116,000, compared to the national level of $61,500. San Francisco, Calif., last year's No. 1, comes in a close second this year. 

Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors, writes:

"This year's Best-Performing Cities index tells a tale of two sectors—technology and oil—moving regional economies in opposite directions. In the shale oil patch, plummeting energy prices are undercutting the performance of those metros reliant on the sector, such as Tulsa and El Paso. But in Top 25 cities such as San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Denver, the softer side of high tech is fueling urban economies, with stellar job and wage growth. As cities across America focus on fostering high-quality jobs, our best-performing cities are showing the way."

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