It sounds great:

There, occupying the No. 1 spot on a technology-staffing firm's list of "11 Cities You Wouldn't Expect for Tech," stands none other than...

Milwaukee.

"Milwaukee, surprisingly, has a third of all Wisconsin's tech businesses," a posting on the blog of Verigent, a staffing company based near Charlotte, N.C., says, "and there are few cities outpacing them in high-tech innovation.

"When the city's manufacturing sector took a huge hit in the last few decades, industry leaders have done a great job marrying technological innovation with old-school manufacturing techniques."

The good news garnered a fair amount of attention -- an article about the Verigent list has been among the most popular on the Milwaukee Business Journal website, and got widely circulated on social media last week.

Which is why it might be worth noting a little wrinkle: There's no statistical foundation supporting the selection of the 11 cities on the Verigent list.

"It was more based on anecdotal news articles and things like that," said Heather Dundon, a freelance writer and social-media manager who wrote the blog post for Verigent.

And while the presentation of the post strongly suggests a ranking -- Milwaukee is No. 1, Indianapolis No. 2 and so on -- Dundon said that wasn't her intent.

"I should have been a little more clear," she said.

Nor was the list about jobs. On that score, Milwaukee is no tech hub.

According to the most recent survey data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and mathematical occupations represent a little under 3% of total employment in the metropolitan area. That makes Milwaukee middle of the pack, at best, among the country's 50 largest metro areas.

The city is somewhat stronger in engineering occupations, and somewhat weaker in the category that includes bioscience jobs.

The area's growth in tech jobs coming out of the recession, meanwhile, has been modest.

Comparing the published BLS estimates of computer and mathematical occupations among the 50 biggest metro areas for 2010 and 2013, Milwaukee would rank near the bottom in growth rate.

But even with extensive and carefully collected government data, hard rankings are misleading. The numbers are based on surveys, and given the margins of error, Milwaukee could place higher.

Still, even with that caveat, the city appears to be well below the upper echelons in growth of computer jobs. Again, engineering is stronger, while growth in the category that includes life sciences and physical sciences appears to be relatively weak.

Dundon said that in selecting the "11 cities you wouldn't expect for tech," she scoured the Internet for material such as other lists.

"And then from there kind of dug in on the cities I thought made more sense and tried to figure out which ones had the most buzz online in other places," she said.

Regarding Milwaukee, she said she noticed "a lot of information surrounding the water tech innovation that you've been doing," as well as encouraging steps such as business accelerators and Wisconsin's tax credits for investing in fledgling firms.

"We were just speaking sort of broad strokes -- where we see innovation, where we see places really trying to nurture tech," Dundon said.

Business Journal Editor-in-Chief Mark Kass said the paper was simply reporting what the Verigent post said -- because it was so surprising.

"And it obviously created a discussion," he said.

For Dundon, meanwhile, the goal was to put a spotlight on Verigent.

"Of course," said Dundon, who works on a consulting basis for the company. "That's my job."

The posting, and subsequent news articles about it, drew a good number of hits to the Verigent website, she said.

"Which is great for me. I think it's great for them. And I don't think it's hurting anyone to kind of boost their brand nationally."

©2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel