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RISMEDIA, May 17, 2007-Worldwide ERC®, the association for workforce mobility, and Primacy Relocation® announced that Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Provo-Orem, Utah, are 2007’s Best Cities for Relocating FamiliesTM among large, medium and small U.S. metropolitan areas.The two organizations worked with Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces to rate cities based on those factors – short-term and long-term – that determine the likelihood of a successful relocation. [complete list at end of document]

“The shrinking labor market and the higher demand to remain competitive when building a mobile workforce demand that companies take a closer look at all of the components that are important to the transferee,” said Worldwide ERC Executive Vice President H. Cris Collie, CAE. “The qualities of the destination location are critical factors in the success of the relocation for employees and their families.”

The ease with which a family can relocate to a new city is impacted by a variety of measurable factors. Traditional variables such as an area’s cost of living, crime rates, education and climate are combined with more abstract factors such as a city’s arts and culture scene, focus on diversity, and number of physicians per capita.

Conducted each spring, this is the third year Primacy and Worldwide ERC have partnered on the list. This year’s city size categories of large, medium and small were adjusted to reflect the larger population areas to which families are most likely to relocate, to 1.25 million and above, 575,000 – 1.25 million, and 350,000 – 575,000, respectively. Additionally, the 2007 study placed a special emphasis on the housing market, which has significantly impacted the relocation industry and an employer’s ability to transfer employees. The variables which weigh heavily in this category include home price, home affordability index, appreciation rates, and property tax.

“Without a doubt, the state of the housing market is having a huge impact on relocation decisions of both employers and the families who are being transferred,” said Michelle Vallejo, SCRP, GMS, president of Primacy, The Americas. “The cities on this list represent some of the stronger real estate markets and places that are most conducive to a successful family relocation.”

Several new categories were added to this year’s rankings, including recreation and leisure, arts and culture, air quality, watershed quality, sales tax, unemployment rate, job growth, high school and higher education index, school expenditures per student, students in public school, SAT/ACT percentile, and population growth. These new categories allow for a more robust range of variables which impact not only a family’s decision of where to move, but their ability to get settled once they arrive.

2007 Best Cities for Relocating Families – Worldwide ERC & Primacy Relocation:

Large Metro Areas Pop. 1,250,000+

1. Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
2. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN
3. Kansas City, MO-KS
4. Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
5. Austin-Round Rock, TX
6. Pittsburgh, PA

Mid-Sized Metro Areas, Pop. 575,000-1,250,000

1. Knoxville, TN
2. Wichita, KS
3. Raleigh-Cary, NC
4. Salt Lake City, UT
5. Oklahoma City, OK

Small Metro Areas, Pop. 350,000 – 575,000

1. Provo-Orem, UT
2. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
3. Durham, NC
4. Colorado Springs, CO
5. Corpus Christi, TX

ERC and Primacy announced the results of the survey at the National Relocation Conference in Las Vegas.

Full results of the survey are available at www.primacy.com and will be published in Worldwide ERC’s MOBILITY magazine this summer.

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