With the U.S. unemployment rate at 8.6%, joblessness has decreased throughout the United States in recent months according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Statistics that measure average unemployment however can be misleading. Employment rates vary by region and city. Forecasts for employment recovery also vary by metropolitan region. In light of these factors – what are the Top 5 U.S. cities for business and careers – now, and in the future? Let’s take a look at these five cities/regions.
1. Bismarck, North Dakota: The metropolitan region around Bismarck and neighboring Fargo, ND has the lowest U.S. unemployment rate at 2.4 (source: U.S. Labor Department) of any U.S. city and the most optimistic growth forecast. This is largely because of an oil and gas business that has boomed in the region in recent years.
2. Washington D.C. (metro area): The metro area around our nation’s capitol has had one of the strongest job growth numbers in recent years at approximate 12 %. Unemployment in the greater metro area is a low 5.4% and government and high tech employment is forecast to grow.
3. Raleigh/Durham North Carolina: The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill high tech and university region of North Carolina showed robust economic growth last year of nearly 12 %. Unemployment remains around the U.S average at 8%, but opportunities abound in the research triangle for those with higher education.
4. Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln NE enjoys a substantially lower unemployment rate than the U.S. average at 3.4 %. Economic growth is also forecast to continue at a healthy rate driven by retail, light manufacturing and financial services.
5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: The Minneapolis-St. Paul MN area has low current unemployment rate of 5.4 and strong outlook for growth based on a diverse and stable mix of blue-chip companies and industries.