Some cities weathered the recession a bit better than their peers
This has, indeed, been the year of government. Several of the nation's state capitals boasted steadier economies than their peers, thanks to the less volatile nature of government employment.
These cities also shared other traits: Some possess strong natural resources, housing markets that didn't boom or bust as much as others, growing healthcare sectors, or even close proximity to military bases, which helped boost their local economies.
In the middle of the worst recession in decades, it wasn't easy to pinpoint the Best Places to Find a Job for 2009, as absolutely no American city was immune to the economic downturn. And there have been, no doubt, job seekers as frustrated in these 10 cities as in others. But 2009 was an unusual year.
To find the, perhaps, "better" places to find a job, we started with our database of 2,000 cities in all parts of the country. We then narrowed the list to cities that have weathered the recessionary job market and come out with below-average unemployment rates as well as job growth since 2000. We also focused on cities that were large enough to offer job seekers opportunities in a broad sweep of industries.
Overall, the quality that separates these cities from their peers is not necessarily steep job growth in recent years but a steadiness during the recession that has prevented the sharp employment declines and steep unemployment rates posing such a challenge to dedicated job seekers nationwide.
As the largest city in an isolated, sparsely populated state, Anchorage residents account for almost half of the total personal income
For one thing, the city's expansive energy industry helped insulate it from much of the recession. Also, the housing market has not experienced the nation's highs and lows. "I think that we've suffered a little bit, just like everyone else has, just not to the same degree," says
While the city's crucial tourism and shipping industries have been bruised by the recession, jobs have been added in education and health services, and in government, which represents 20 percent of the city's jobs. Retailers also continue to move into Anchorage:
This concentration in government jobs has, not surprisingly, helped cushion
"We have a number of employers here who are growing even in this economy," says
While some are a bit hesitant to praise their local economy 20 months into a recession,
You can, however, thank the city's diverse economy for much of its resilience. Healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and even the tech industry contribute plenty of jobs. Some of the city's major employers include
In the city that a young President Obama once called home, things are looking slightly steadier than in the rest of the nation.
Granted, it's not all roses in this Hawaiian state capital. Tourism rules
You can also thank the world's dependence on fossil fuels for the state's success, particularly for the economic health in
This capital city has gotten its fair share of the spotlight in this recession, as its job market has powered through the peak of the recession with a 6 percent unemployment rate--one of the country's lowest. Energy is a big driver of the city's stability.
The strongest near-term growth will come from the professional and business services sector and the healthcare sector, Tomarelli says. Indeed, the city's economic expansion following the 2001 recession was broadly based. Local government and mining jobs grew the most rapidly. The city's economy has also been helped by the presence of the
It's quite possible that sometime in the future when you're watching
Entertainment, such as gaming, is no small industry in this city, which has worked hard to recover from harder times. Leisure and hospitality employment has actually grown in the past 12 months.
Economists at IHS Global Insight expect
While the government sector is responsible for nearly a third of the city's employment, the city has also been helped by its universities--
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report