Best 25 Cities for US Jobs Through 2020
Raleigh NC, In the Research Triangle = Number One
Business Data From Top Flight Organizations
To compile the "Top 25" city rankings, five data categories have been used often by the US Department of Labor, CNNMoney Magazine, AT&T, US News and World Reports, Forbes, Kiplinger, and a number of leading employment specialists in the country.
What I find is that the same 10-20 cities largely vie for the same slots in the listing year to year. Most of them continue to improve each year.
The criterion categories for rating cities include:
- Unemployment Rate,
- Job Growth,
- Income Growth,
- Median Household Income,
- Cost Of Living.
The largest 100 metropolitan areas of America were measured for these data, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The actual data were compiled from Moody's site, Economy.com.
In 2006, Forbes.com used five-year averages for job and income growth, so the 2001 recession was included. In 2007, they used growth data for 2003 through 2006 and the recession is in the past figures. In 2006 New York, San Francisco, and Chicago were all in the bottom 15, but not in 2007 - they rose with recovery. During 2015 - 2016, they continue to improve.
Overall, in New York and Los Angeles, highly educated job seekers will find opportunities. The major metropolitan areas have high median incomes, but also are fraught with unemployment, expensive housing, and low job growth rates.
America's biggest cities have more problems with their education systems and with infrastructure than smaller towns. They also have large urban centers or "inner cities' with economic and crime problems as well as opportunities to develop businesses.
UPDATE: American Jobs 2012 - 2015
- On March 4, 2013, America had 5.9 million jobs advertised.
- On May Day 2012, we had fewer: 4.1 million job listings.
- In October 2012 after the Second Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, job listings rose to over 7,000,000 for the first times in years.
- During Autumn 2015, America enjoyed job listings of 8 to 9+ million positions, with nearly a million listed in Truck Driving alone.
Interestingly, a new television series for 2015 - 2016 focused on the North Dakota Oil Boom (Blood and Oil on ABC, starring Don Johnson). Trailers showed a setting that was a cross between Alaska during Gold Rush days and the TV show Dallas.
Aerospace jobs are beginning to increase as well, given the success of NASA/Private Sector investments in the US and foreign-partnership arrangements America has gained since August 2011. Good has invested $30 Million to stimulate design of Lunar Landers, to be launched in 2013 and two years ahead of schedule. Google and James Cameron have invested heavily in the Asteroid Mining Industry.
Top 5 Cities in the 2000s and 2010s
Best American Cities
#1 Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
March 4, 2013 on SImpyHired: Crawl of All Online Listings:
- Raleigh - 40,703 Jobs
- North Carolina - 182,963 Jobs
- South Carolina - 76, 573 Jobs
January 24, 2011 on SimplyHired: Crawl of All Online listings
- North Carolina - 115,464 Jobs
- South Carolina - 48,660 Jobs
Smart City - Is it a Smartest City?
Raleigh and Cary have in the past during the 2000s both been named the worst and best place in NC for jobs. However, their presence in America's Research Triangle has boosted their economies and job growth to consistently positive numbers. They are the best.
North Carolina's housing market has been relatively stable, so Raleigh has few possibilities of an inevitable economic downturn. The three universities in the area, Duke, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University, attract more highly educated employees and technology firms.
Largest Employers in Raleigh, By Employee Pool
- State of North Carolina - Government
- Wake County Public School System
- North Carolina State University
- Rex Hospital
- Red Hat
- Wake County - Government
- City of Raleigh - Government
- Progress Energy
- First Citizens BancShares
- Duke Raleigh Hospital
- The Smartest City in America: Seattle or Raleigh?
What are the smartest cities in the United States and what else is good about them?
- Travel, Sports Tickets, and Growing Job Markets In R...
Raleigh, North Carolina is rated as one of the top 5 Best Cities in the USA for jobs and affordable housing. Worship places of many faiths are located in Raleigh, along with Civil War and Native American history preserved in parks and museums.
- Watch! - Best Places to Move in North Carolina
Triangle Research Park is the foundation of NC success.
#2 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
Phoenix has a good housing market with a lower cost of living. Arizona has attracted many technology companies and especially in biotech. There is substantial migration from southern California into Phoenix at this time, including companies and households. It's like a cheaper way to live in California, and nearby.
#3 Jacksonville, Fla.
Rank last year: 8
- Median Household Income Rank: 40
- Unemployment Rank: 15
- Income Growth Rank: 6
- Cost Of Living Rank: 49
- Job Growth Rank: 13
Jacksonville moved up in the rankings with a fair housing market. There is a lot of defense spending in Jacksonville that contributes to job growth in the local area job market.
#4 Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
Rank Last Year: 4
- Median Household Income Rank: 57
- Unemployment Rank: 6
- Income Growth Rank: 3
- Cost of Living Rank: 57
- Job Growth Rank: 4
Orlando is suffering somewhat from a housing slumps, while travel and tourism keep the local economy vital. The American dollar (USD) will likely remain weak against the Euro, so international tourism to Florida should remain stable or increase.
UPDATE: A reader asked for job related help at the end of May 2012 in Orlando. This is what I found to help:
I found 26,759 open jobs om 5/31/2012 between the super-search job engines SimplyHired.com and Indeed,com within a 25-mile radius of Orlando, Florida. Many are licensed Healthcare jobs, IT jobs like Software Engineers, jobs for Salespeople/Account Executives, and jobs for Sales Representatives.
Local Florida Workforce Offices in Orlando to access for help:
- JobVantage South Orange County; 1563 Florida Mall Ave; Orlando, Florida 32809; Phone: 407-531-1232
- JobVantage East Orange County; 4360 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803; Phone: 407-531-1227
- ZuCan; 609 N Powers Dr, Suite 340, Orlando 32818; Phone: 407-531-1223
#5 Washington, D.C.
Rank Last Year: 1
- Median Household Income Rank: 14
- Unemployment Rank: 4
- Income Growth Rank: 19
- Cost Of Living Rank: 86
- Job Growth Rank: 15
Federal spending will probably keep Washington's economy strong this year. When the US government outsources work to private companies, many of those jobs stay in the Washington DC-Maryland-Virginia area. The housing market in Washington is starting to slow, and could downturn the city economy as well as that of Maryland and parts of Virginia.
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#6 Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City benefits from high incomes among a very well educated workforce. It has only a small IT sector, but larger logistics and distribution serving the Rocky Mountain west.
The unemployment rate in Honolulu is extremely low. The major industries are travel and tourism, and these types of companies are having difficulty to finding service employees. However, it should be easy to find work in the service industry there for those who want to migrate in.
Las Vegas' economy is strong, with income and job growth up. The housing market produces high risk, because many of the housing units built recently were bought with adjustable rate mortgages. As interest rates rise, many homeowners are in risk of default. Tourism remains strong with increasing numbers of international visitors. The convention business is increasing all the time.
#9 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL
Fort Lauderdale made the top ten in 2007, but with a major risk in the housing market. Economic growth should be positive throughout the year.
Job growth in Virginia Beach has increased because of ship building, naval facilities, and increasing tourism. A Ford assembly plant in the metro area will be closing and Virginia Beach may lose a jet fighter wing at Oceana Naval Air Station to Jacksonville. However, one of Altria's Phillip Morris plants will reopen and provide more jobs.
Bethesda's economy is accelerated because it is close to Washington, DC. As government spending remains high, the economy should do well. The large aerospace firm Lockheed-Martin has headquarters here, as do other defense and other contractors.
#12 Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice FL
Travel and tourism will provide Sarasota strong economic growth. There will be a slowdown in construction, however, and unemployment will start to tick upward as the housing market slows down.
#13 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
Tampa has attracted back-office operations for a number of financial and insurance firms. It is affordable as far as cost of living goes, and it has a large metro area. Income growth and job growth are increasing.
#14 Richmond VA
Richmond benefits from its proximity to Washington, DC. Virginia's state government has strong revenue growth. The housing market is still strong in Richmond. Its income growth and job growth rankings slumped a bit this year.
#15 Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.
The city has a high median income because of the insurance and banking industries, as well as agribusiness. High corn prices in relation to ethanol have raised the demand for consumer products and financial services.
#16 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla.
West Palm Beach is still doing well, but has an excess housing supply. Tourism helps. West Palm Beach is a destination for many domestic and international tourists.
#17 Little Rock-North Little Rock, Ark.
Little Rock has a stable employment in government jobs and the Little Rock Air Force Base. The University of Arkansas is the top employer overall. Outside of the public sector, the economy is diverse. Low business and housing costs are beneficial.
#18 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Nashville area is becoming a regional center for offices and transportation. Five or ten years ago, services were not strong, but a strong service economy has popped up.
#19 Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.
Many foreign firms are headquartered in Orange County, because of its proximity to Los Angeles. The economy is largely about technology, defense, and aerospace. However, it is one of the most expensive places in America.
#20 Tucson, Ariz.
Tucson is anchored by the University of Arizona. Its IT sector is growing, because of the university and city's proximity to the west coast. Tucson also shares a housing slowdown with Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Florida cities.
#21 Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City's economy is built on oil drilling and technology. The airport just had a major innovation and Delta Airlines is adding more jobs. It also enjoys status as a car-rental service hub.
#22 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
There are many corporate headquarters in Atlanta, and after the recession, many of the companies stopped hiring. Its outlook is stronger now, but there are risks if Delta is acquired and jobs are cut.
#23 Austin-Round Rock TX
Austin rose in the rankings as a result of income increases and job growth. It enjoys a strong outlook with its University of Texas, good state revenue, and a high quality of life. Texas also maintains a large pool of active 55+ workers.
#24 Albuquerque NM
Albuquerque is small and affordable and an attractive place to retire. Its economy is based in research labs and defense installations.
#25 Sacramento CA
California's capital is a lower-cost alternative to San Francisco.
State government provides stability to the economy, providing steady growth, while the technology sector has its ups and downs. Jobs have been list in California during the Recession of 2008 - 2010, but commercial and passenger space flight and green bussinesses are beginning to create new job titles.
© 2007 Patty Inglish