The Cities Where Everyone Has a Job

Mike Sauter

10. Logan, Utah-Idaho
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
> Total population:124,813
> Median household income: $46,356

While the October unemployment rate was less than half of the national rate of 7.9%, the metropolitan area is not affluent. In fact, the 2011 median household income in the area was much lower than the national median of $50,502 and the state median of $55,869. Only 2% of families in the Logan made more than $200,000 in 2011, significantly less than the 5.6% of families across the U.S. Utah State University, which employs more than 2,600 people, is located in Logan. Education and training represents just shy of 10% of the total workforce.

Also Read: States About To Lose The Most Unemployment Insurance

9. Burlington, South Burlington, Vt.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
> Total population: 213,624
> Median household income: $60,771

Burlington’s unemployment rate of 3.8% in October was significantly better than Vermont’s 5.5% rate, which itself was far better than the nation’s. The median household income in the Burlington area of $60,771 was significantly higher than the $52,776 median income in Vermont for 2011. Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, which has 10,459 undergraduate students, 1,540 graduate students and 1,471 full- and part-time faculty. Education and training makes up roughly 8% of the the metropolitan areas workforce.

8. Sioux Falls, S.D.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.7%
> Total population: 232,347
> Median household income: $55,609

As of October 2012, there were 140,400 nonfarm jobs in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area, a growth of 2.6% from the previous year. Major employment sectors that have grown in this time include manufacturing, which grew its workforce by 5.6%, along with education and health services, which grew by 4.7%. The largest employers in the area, as of 2011, were Sanford Health and Avera health, employing 7,703 and 5,921 people, respectively. Financial services is also a major industry in the region, with Wells Fargo and Citigroup the fifth- and sixth-largest employers in the Sioux Falls region in 2011.

7. Iowa City, Iowa
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th)
> Total population:154,893
> Median household income:$52,602

Iowa City, as of October 2012, had approximately 93,300 jobs in the area, an increase of 2.2% from the previous year. More than a third of these jobs, or 34,300, were in the government sector, which grew a modest 1.5% year-over-year. To compare, government jobs nationwide contracted during that period. Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa, which employs approximately 13,000 people, including 1,700 faculty positions. In addition to a low unemployment rate, Iowa City had a median household income of $52,602 in 2011, higher than the state’s $49,500 median income.

6. Ames, Iowa
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th)
> Total population: 89,663
> Median household income: $45,866

As of October, there were approximately 50,800 nonfarm jobs in the Ames area, which was 3.7% higher from the year before. The government sector made up a huge portion of employment, with 22,000 jobs, an increase of 4.3% from the previous year. Like Iowa City, Ames is a college town with Iowa State bringing in educated professionals from around the world. Unlike Iowa City, however, the region’s median household income of $45,866 in 2011 was well below the U.S. median of $50,502 and Iowa’s median of $49,500.