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:
1. Nashville, TN
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Orlando, FL
4. Raliegh, NC
5. Portland, OR
6. Oklahoma City, OK
7. Phoenix, AZ
It won’t expand as fast as the others on our list, but Atlanta’s size and diversity will make it a good place to relocate and look for work. One key to Atlanta’s bright future is the nexus between transportation and online retailing. UPS and AT&T Mobility, with its 100 million wireless customers, are both based there, and they will be key players in America’s consumer-spending shift from bricks to clicks.
Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, and Delta Airlines are among Fortune 500 giants based in Atlanta. Delta Airlines and AirTran are likely to shrink their workforces, as is struggling retailer Home Depot. But regional energy giant Southern Co. and Newell Rubbermaid, maker of many things for the kitchen and garage, see expansions.