The Fort Collins and Loveland area dropped from the No. 3 spot in 2011 to No. 12 in 2012, according to the annual index by the nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank.
Despite dropping nine spots, the metro area ranked fifth nationwide in technology output growth. Fort Collins benefited from the national resurgence of investment in equipment and software because of its diverse manufacturing and tech industries, Milken said.
In 2011 alone, the city added nearly 430 jobs in machinery, plastics, rubber and electronics manufacturing, Milken said. The cluster of tech firms helped attract capital to the area.
Wages, however, grew slightly below the national average from 2009 to 2010. The report blamed state budget cuts.
The Greeley area rose 20 spots from 62nd to 42nd, Milken said.
The Denver, Aurora and Broomfield areas improved to No. 30 last year from No. 44 the prior year. The Boulder area rose from 59th to 15th, according to Milken.
The San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara area — an area otherwise known as Silicon Valley — ranked No. 1 of the nation’s top 25 largest metro areas.