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:
Nashville wins the prize for fastest two-year job growth among all the metro areas on our list — four times as fast as the U.S. as a whole. Vanderbilt University, the largest employer, will continue to add a variety of health care, education and service jobs. Nissan North America will add manufacturing jobs at its auto assembly plant and office jobs at its Nashville-area headquarters.
The capital of country music has a vibrant tech sector fueled by its highly regarded universities, and is becoming a center of data processing functions for cloud computing. The city will continue to be the freight transportation center for the state and the region, adding thousands of service jobs. It’s the crossroads for truck and rail transport and a major center for UPS operations by land and air.
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Orlando, FL
4. Raliegh, NC
5. Portland, OR
6. Oklahoma City, OK
7. Phoenix, AZ
8. Atlanta, GA