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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Jon McNeill, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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February 2014 DIVER Geo Scores Released

The DIVER Geo Score results are in for February. The DIVER Geo Score represents a relative score of the economic health of a U.S. State, county or city. Based on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the best, this data is updated monthly and is calculated from multiple economic and demographic factors related to three primary data categories—employment, income and housing.

Here are the latest results through February 28, 2014:

GEO SCORE: BY STATE

Highlights: Familiar Names with Top Scores; Largest Changes (Most Improved) Marked by New Entrants

The top 10 scoring States stayed the same but several States saw relatively significant increases and decreases since last month with New Hampshire and Virginia declining 1 and .6, respectively. Hawaii, amongst the group, was the big winner, month on month, rising .8. The top Geo Score increases all shared common characteristics seeing a decline in Unemployment and increases in Labor Force Participation and Housing Prices while nine of the top ten also saw a decline in Poverty. Noticeably absent from the top score increases is California (a rising star over the past months).

                                                     
                                                 
Best Locations               Score               Best Locations               Score Changes
North Dakota               10.0               Utah               +1.6
District of Columbia               9.8               Indiana               +1.4
Vermont               9.6               Arizona               +1.4
Wyoming               9.4               Washington               +1.0
Hawaii               9.2               Nebraska               +0.8
Nebraska               9.0               South Dakota               +0.8
Virginia               8.8               Minnesota               +0.8
South Dakota               8.6               Iowa               +0.8
Minnesota               8.4               Colorado               +0.6
New Hampshire               8.2               West Virginia               +0.6
 

Mississippi and Nevada continue at the bottom of our Geo Scores with Florida falling to third worst. Arizona, showing some improvement, no longer is in the group with New Mexico (-1.4) taking its place and Tennessee (-1.4) barely staying out of the bottom ten. Nine of ten States suffering the most significant declines in their Geo Scores saw declines in their Labor Force and all but four saw an increase in Foreclosures.

                                                             
                                                         
Worst Locations                 Score                       Worst Locations             Score Changes
Mississippi                 0.0                       New Mexico             -1.4
Nevada                 0.2                       Tennessee             -1.4
Florida                 0.4                       Maryland             -1.4
South Carolina                 0.6                       Delaware             -1.2
Georgia                 0.8                       Rhode Island             -1.0
Michigan                 1.0                       Maine             -1.0
Arkansas                 1.2                       New Jersey             -1.0
Kentucky                 1.4                       Connecticut             -0.8
New Mexico                 1.6                       Mississippi             -0.6
Illinois                 1.8                       Florida             -0.6
 

GEO SCORE: BY COUNTY

Highlights: North Dakota Takes the Cake, Again

The same counties that held the top ten positions in January are back in February with Geo Scores of ten — nine of which are from North Dakota. Counties with the greatest increases in their Geo Score experienced significant decreases in their Unemployment Rate as well as their rate of Foreclosures along with strong data for Income and Housing Prices. Donley, TX, the county with the greatest yearly change of +3.6, saw a decline in their Unemployment Rate by 1.7%, an increase in the Labor Force by 0.32%, and an increase in Income by an impressive $310. All of the top ten movers for counties except for Dolores, CO had increased Housing Prices that contributed to their positive score changes for February 2013 to February 2014.

                                                                   
                                                               
Best Locations                   Score                     Best Locations                   Score Changes
Williams, ND                   10.0                     Donley, TX                   +3.6
Slope, ND                   10.0                     Yolo, CA                   +3.2
Dunn, ND                   10.0                     Rock, WI                   +3.2
McKenzie, ND                   10.0                     Dolores, CO                   +3.0
Mountrail, ND                   10.0                     Sonoma, CA                   +3.0
Stark, ND                   10.0                     Pulaski, IN                   +2.9
Divide, ND                   10.0                     Maricopa, AZ                   +2.9
Burke, ND                   10.0                     Napa, CA                   +2.8
Midland, TX                   10.0                     Jackson, IN                   +2.8
Billings, ND                   10.0                     Douglas, NV                   +2.7
 

Turning to the bottom ten movers for counties, there are clear ties between the spike in Foreclosures for nine of the bottom ten as well as the drop in the Labor Force in all but two; Twin Falls, ID and Windham, CT, which remained unchanged from February 2013 to February 2014.

                                                                 
                                                             
Worst Locations                   Score                   Worst Locations                   Score Changes
Telfair, GA                   0.0                   Monroe, PA                   -4.3
St. Lucie, FL                   0.0                   Twin Falls, ID                   -4.3
Hancock, GA                   0.0                   Wayne, PA                   -3.8
Flagler, FL                   0.0                   Alleghany, VA                   -3.4
Yuma, AZ                   0.0                   Fulton, PA                   -3.4
Jenkins, GA                   0.0                   Dorchester, MD                   -3.4
Crowley, CO                   0.0                   Wicomico, MD                   -3.3
Osceola, FL                   0.0                   Baltimore City, MD                   -3.2
Wilcox, GA                   0.0                   Windham, CT                   -3.0
Apache, AZ                   0.0                   Power, ID                   -2.9
 

GEO SCORE: BY CITY

Highlights: California Takes Lead for Best Cities; Bottom 10 Span Across 10 Different States

This month’s top city Geo Scores has California coming in with six of the top ten best locations. The top ten movers saw decreases in Unemployment as well as increases in Income over the last year. Eight of the top ten movers saw a decrease in Foreclosures in tandem with seven of the top ten experiencing lower Poverty Rates.

                                                             
                                                         
Best Locations                     Score                 Best Locations               Score Changes
Midland, TX                     10.0                 Orlando, FL               +2.3
Palo Alto, CA                     10.0                 Cape Coral, FL               +2.1
Odessa, TX                     10.0                 Vallejo, CA               +2.1
Mountain View, CA                     9.9                 Fort Myers, FL               +1.9
Sunnyvale, CA                     9.9                 Santa Rosa, CA               +1.8
Alexandria, VA                     9.9                 Temecula, CA               +1.8
Walnut Creek, CA                     9.8                 West Palm Beach, FL               +1.7
Newton, MA                     9.8                 Warren, MI               +1.6
Redwood City, CA                     9.8                 Ontario, CA               +1.5
Torrance, CA                     9.7                 Greeley, CO               +1.5
 

The bottom ten cities, each from a different state, demonstrated clear trends in a declining Labor Force, an increase in Foreclosures and a decline in Housing Prices in eight of the bottom ten.

                                                                   
                                                               
Worst Locations                     Score                   Worst Locations                   Score Changes
Flint, MI                     0.0                   Bridgeport, CT                   -3.3
Yuba City, CA                     0.0                   Baltimore, MD                   -2.6
Victorville, CA                     0.0                   Clarksville, TN                   -2.6
Detroit, MI                     0.1                   Decatur, IL                   -2.5
Merced, CA                     0.1                   Scranton, PA                   -2.4
Port St. Lucie, FL                     0.1                   Springfield, MA                   -2.4
Youngstown, OH                     0.2                   Peoria, IL                   -2.1
Cleveland, OH                     0.2                   Warwick, RI                   -2.0
Rockford, IL                     0.2                   El Paso, TX                   -1.7
Stockton, CA                     0.3                   Little Rock, AR                   -1.7
 

For more information or to see a full list of DIVER Geo Scores for the current month, please visit our website at www.lumesis.com/our-solutions/diver-geo-score.

About Lumesis

Lumesis is dedicated to delivering simple-to-use, powerful technology for the Municipal Marketplace. Lumesis has three products in its DIVER solution offering—DIVER Advisor, DIVER Analytics, and DIVER Data Services—which offer software solutions and comprehensive data on more than 54,000 municipal issuers. DIVER Advisor is a comprehensive compliance and information delivery platform serving Financial Advisor networks, helping them address the Time of Trade Disclosure (MSRB Rule G-17 and Proposed G-47) obligations. DIVER Analytics is a suite of powerful analytical and visualization tools serving Credit Analysts and Portfolio Managers. DIVER Data Services matches user data and information needs with comprehensive data, analytical and delivery expertise. To learn more about Lumesis, please visit www.lumesis.com or contact us at [email protected].

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