After our “where to put your next branch office” post attracted lots of readers this week, including at least one from Mongolia as we found out in the comments, we thought we would follow with the 25 best cities in the U.S. when it comes to jobs.
Okay, let’s get one thing established right away. No area of the country is experiencing explosive growth at the moment. And even those that are doing better than most, are cautious in their optimism.
Things are better than they were though. Between 2009 and 2010, only 13 of 397 metropolitan areas experienced any growth at all.
Now, many areas are reporting actual employment increases — even if they are modest.
NewGeography.com is a site devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where we live and work. In a recent piece on best cities for jobs they ranked all 398 current metropolitan statistical areas, based on employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported from November 1999 to January 2011.
“Once again the best places for jobs tended to be smaller communities where incremental improvements can have a relatively large impact,” stated the article. “Eighteen of the top 20 cities on our list were either small (under 150,000 nonfarm jobs) or mid-sized areas (less than 450,000 jobs).”
“Once again the best places for jobs tended to be smaller communities where incremental improvements can have a relatively large impact. Eighteen of the top 20 cities on our list were either small (under 150,000 nonfarm jobs) or mid-sized areas (less than 450,000 jobs).”
In my research I checked a lot of these types of lists, dating back a year or so ago. While there are some differences, one thing is clear. Rick Perry is right. When it comes to jobs, Texas is tops.
On the NewGeography site the Lone Star State dominated the three size categories, with the No. 1 mid-sized city, El Paso (No. 3 overall, up 22 places from last year) and No.1 large metropolitan area Austin (No. 6 overall), joining Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood (the No. 1 small city) atop their respective lists.
Texas also produced three other of the top 10 smallest regions, including energy-dominated No. 4 Midland, which gained 41 places overall, and No. 10 Odessa, whose economy jumped a remarkable 57 places. It also added two other mid-size cities to its belt: No. 2 Corpus Christi and No. 4 McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission.
In a September article in Forbes you can read here, they said San Antionio, Texas is the “metropolitan area with the most optimistic forecast for hiring.”
Richard Perez, head of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, says the cost of living is low, and the talent pool is well educated and plentiful, with area colleges putting 30,000 grads into circulation every year.
Of course, many have argued, even during recent preidential debates,that Texas doesn’t have any secret sauce when it comes to job creation, it just has to do with oil.
Of course, many have argued, even during recent presidential debates, that Texas doesn’t have any secret sauce when it comes to job creation, it just has to do with oil.
Giving some credence to that is other oil capitals are doing well when it comes to jobs. The No. 2 small metro and the No. 2 overall, Bismarck, N.D., is the emerging capital of the expanding Dakota energy belt. Also faring well are Alaska’s two oil-fire cities, Fairbanks (No. 10 on our small list) and Anchorage (No. 3 on the medium-sized list).
As for areas exhibiting “suprising” growth in the eyes of NewGeography, New Orleans was cited specifically. It moved up 46 places from a year ago to capture the No. 2 slot among large metros. The region lost 11% of its population and nearly 16% of its jobs during the last decade. However, continued rebuilding in the hurricane aftermath, a growing immigrant population and a rise in tourism are all contributing to growth.
Here is the NewGeography list of the Top 25 overall best cities for job growth.
1) Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX
2) Bismarck, ND
3) El Paso, TX
4) College Station-Bryan, TX
5) Midland, TX
6) Austin, TX
7) New Orleans, LA
9) Manhattan, KS
10) Pascagoula, MS
11) Odessa, TX
12) Corpus Christ, TX
13) Logan, UT
14) Houston, TX
15) Fairbanks, AK
16) Elizabethtown, KY
17) San Antonio, TX
18) Dallas, TX
19) Jacksonville, NC
20) Lawton, OK
21) Lebanon, PA
22) Anchorage, AK
23) Longview, TX
24) Joplin, MO
25) Kennewick, WA