Though we expect job creation nationwide to continue its sluggish pace, some areas will fare much better than others.
Here are eight metropolitan areas that we think are poised to become job-creating machines in the years ahead.
We zeroed in on metro areas of at least 1 million people and a track record of above-average population and job growth coming out of the 2008-2009 recession.
Our analysis also considers demographic trends and industry growth that point to rapid job creation. We think each of these eight cities will outpace the nation’s 7% job growth average between now and 2017, a forecast based on U.S. Department of Labor projections plus our reporting.
They’re not the usual suspects — the Houstons, Austins and Seattles that are riding high because they’re well-known homes to lots of energy or tech firms. Take a look:
Metro area population: 1.2 million
Current unemployment rate: 7.4%
Job growth next five years: 14%
Number of new jobs: 75,000
Raleigh and its environs will continue to be a magnet for high-tech and biotech job creation. Major employers adding the most jobs will be Duke University, the University of North Carolina, IBM, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Nortel, Verizon and Lenovo. As the capital of a state with healthy finances, Raleigh will also steadily add government jobs. Moreover, it’s a regional hub for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, supporting thousands of related private-sector jobs.