Nine US Cities Where Jobs Are Booming

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4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.2%
> Change in unemployment (Jan, 2011 – Jan. 2012): -18.2%

The unemployment rate of 7.2% in the Nashville metropolitan area is significantly lower than the national rate of 8.3%. In addition, the region will have recovered 92.4% of the jobs it lost during the recession by the fourth quarter of 2012. This is among the country’s greatest postrecession improvements.

3. Richmond, Va.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 6.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -13.2%

Since January 2011, the unemployment rate in the Richmond area has fallen to just 6.6%. According to those surveyed in the Gallup study, 36% of workers believe their businesses are hiring, while just 14% believe their employers are letting people go. This may be reflected in the city’s high general economic confidence. Richmond recently scored fifth highest among the nation’s 50 largest cities in that category.

2. Pittsburgh, Pa.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan 2011 – Jan. 2012): -6.2%

Pittsburgh is another one of the metropolitan areas that will recover all of the jobs it lost during the recession by the fourth quarter of 2012. It also is projected to add some additional positions. Residents of the area seem to be taking notice as 37% report that their employers are hiring. The metropolitan area currently has an unemployment rate of 7.6%, down from 8.1% one year ago.

Also Read: Ten States Where Green Jobs Thrive

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
> Job creation index: 25
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 5.9%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -3.3%

Of those surveyed in Oklahoma City, 37% reported their company was hiring, while 12% believed people were being let go — the lowest level in the country. The Oklahoma City MSA is one of the best places for jobs right now, as the unemployment rate of 5.9% is one of the lowest in the country. The region will have restored all of the jobs it lost during the recession by the end of 2012. The local economy has fared better than most cities. The unemployment rate was as low as 6.1% in January 2011, significantly lower than the national rate.

-Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale