A major manufacturing center in the Midwest by the mid-20th century, Fort Wayne included such employers as General Electric, Magnavox, Westinghouse, and International Harvester. Also vital employers, Phelps Dodge, Rea Magnet Wire, and Essex Wire comprised the largest concentration of copper wire production globally during World War II. As the century came to close, advancements in technology and the reduction of manufacturing jobs nationally led Fort Wayne to be counted among other cities in the Rust Belt.
However, the city's economy has diversified with time to include education, insurance, health care, and defense and security. The service and hospitality sector has also grown recently, with 5.4 million tourists spending more than $415 million in Fort Wayne in 2006. In 2009, Forbes ranked the Fort Wayne metropolitan area 67th on its list of 200 metropolitan areas in its annual "Best Places For Business And Careers" report. Individually, the city was ranked 5th in cost of living and 12th in cost of doing business.