Special Report

Nine US Cities Where Jobs Are Booming

9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.1%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.7%

According to 36% of those surveyed in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan region, the city is hiring. That is among the highest rates in the 50 cities included in Gallup’s poll. In the past year, the unemployment rate in the region fell from 10.8% to 9.1%. While the current unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, the improvement was one of the biggest in the country.

8. San Antonio, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.3%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -6.4%

San Antonio is tied with Houston and Memphis for having the greatest share of residents who report employers are hiring, at 38%. Although the city’s economy has suffered quite a bit in recent years, it is currently doing quite well. All of the jobs lost during the recession will have been recovered by the end of 2012, and some new ones will have been added as well. San Antonio is rated first on Milken Institute’s list of metropolitan areas that are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -12.6%

From its prerecession peak, Houston lost just 4.6% of jobs, one of the smallest percentages among America’s largest metropolitan region. By the end of this year, the Houston area is projected to more than recover all of the jobs it has lost. The unemployment rate in Houston fell by 12.6% since January 2011 to January 2012. And at 7.6% it is now among the lowest in the country. However, only 18% of those surveyed believed their company was in the process of firing people.

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6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.2%
> Change in unemployment (Jan, 2011 – Jan. 2012): -10.7%

The Atlanta metropolitan area lost just under 9% of its jobs from its prerecession peak to trough — a large amount relative to the country’s other large metro areas. By the fourth quarter of 2012, the region will have recovered less than 20% of those jobs, which is one of the nation’s smallest percentages. Despite this, the region has one of the largest percentages of workers reporting hiring by their employers, and one of the highest overall Job Creation Index scores.

5. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
> Job creation index: 21
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.5%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.2%

The Orlando Metropolitan statistical area still has a higher unemployment rate than the majority of large U.S. cities. However, since the end of 2011, unemployment has improved dramatically, falling from 11.2% to 9.5%. According to the survey, 37% of the area’s residents believe their company is hiring, while just 16% believe their company is letting people go.

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