If you sometimes wonder how the Hartford region stacks up against metropolitan regions around the country, the answers have been pouring in lately. A variety of surveys – ranking retirement readiness, comfy apparel, manufacturing jobs and best places for working moms – have landed metro Hartford among the leaders. Forbes Magazine looked at the top 50 metropolitan areas in America to come up with their list of the best places for working mothers. Columbus, Ohio, placed first followed by New Orleans, with Hartford at number three. Providence, R.I. - the only other New England city in the top 20 - was at number five. Criteria included average salaries, average commute time, education spending, violent crime rate and the cost of daycare. The region included Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex counties.
What could be more comfortable than sweats? Experian Simmons asked survey respondents if they bought any sweats in the last 12 months, as well as the number of individual items they purchased, and for the second year in a row, the nation’s top per capita consumer of sweats is Philadelphia, PA. Number two? That would be Hartford, followed by Pittsburgh. Boston is number six, just one slot ahead of New York City.
On Forbes magazine’s list of “Best Cities for Manufacturing Jobs,” Hartford landed in the top ten, at number eight, between Kansas City and Sacremento. Topping that list was Houston.
The number of Americans who report making financial preparations for retirement dropped to 70% in 2012, the lowest level in three years, according to Ameriprise Financial's 2012 City Pulse Index. While 63% of respondents report having set money aside for retirement, only 37% feel “on track” for retirement. The study, which examined consumer retirement planning in the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, found that the country's most prepared and retirement-confident residents reside in Hartford-New Haven. Following were San Diego and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The least prepared people, according to the survey, live in Indianapolis, Charlotte and Washington, D.C.
Taken together, that would suggest that for a working mom seeking employment in a manufacturing job, who enjoys wearing sweats in her off hours while planning for retirement, Greater Hartford is the place to be.