Boomtowns '06: Hottest Large Cities
The Vegas boom now extends well into the suburbs. The number of entertainment and tourism jobs has surged 14.2 percent since 2002, and growth is even more impressive in financial and professional services. Construction is up almost 50 percent.
Overall Rank 9 | 1-Year Job Growth 7.5% | 5-Year Job Growth 25.3% | Index Score 94.3
2Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A number of high-tech businesses, such as Internet solutions provider Hostopia, have recently relocated to the warm, low-tax surroundings of Broward County. Technology, biomed, and health services top the list of growth industries.
Overall Rank 24 | 1-Year Job Growth 4.2% | 5-Year Job Growth 12.1% | Index Score 84.5
Orlando is outgrowing the Mouse. The city's technology industry now boasts collective annual revenue of some $10 billion. Other high-end gains are in professional business and financial services, which have enjoyed double-digit growth since 2002.
Overall Rank 28 | 1-Year Job Growth 4.5% | 5-Year Job Growth 11.7% | Index Score 84.0
4West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Florida
Business and professional services, up 20 percent since 2002, are driving the region's economy. The area is also a life-sciences hub, home to drug and medical instrument makers, such as Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.
Overall Rank 31 | 1-Year Job Growth 3.4% | 5-Year Job Growth 13.6% | Index Score 83.5
5San Bernardino-Riverside, California
Housing prices in the sprawling inland suburbs of southern California may be rising, but they're still half those along the coast. As a result, people have continued to flock to the area, where warehouses and factories are being replaced by white-collar service firms.
Overall Rank 35 | 1-Year Job Growth 1.9% | 5-Year Job Growth 18.7% | Index Score 82.4
The Valley of the Sun is posting robust growth in financial services, with banks, customer-service centers, insurers, and brokerage firms popping up across the region.
Overall Rank 36 | 1-Year Job Growth 4.4% | 5-Year Job Growth 10.8% | Index Score 81.7
Entrepreneurs in Fairfax County netted $297 million in venture capital last year, up 52 percent from 2004. IT and business services are hot, as are biotech, engineering, and telecommunications. Excellent public schools and cultural amenities make it an appealing place to live--if you can afford the real estate.
Overall Rank 42 | 1-Year Job Growth 3.1% | 5-Year Job Growth 9.9% | Index Score 78.4
No surprise that an expanding federal government is the main economic force here, providing jobs at its many agencies and at the private companies that do business with them. Professional services are on the rise, and the retail sector is flourishing.
Overall Rank 52 | 1-Year Job Growth 3.2% | 5-Year Job Growth 10.4% | Index Score 75.9
9Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
Affordable business and living costs, terrific weather, and plentiful jobs keep attracting people to Tampa Bay. Wholesale trade, transportation, and warehousing are strong, thanks to the Port of Tampa, the state's largest port, which handles 50 million tons of cargo a year. More cruise ships are docking as well, and professional and technical services are expanding.
Overall Rank 64 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.6% | 5-Year Job Growth 8.0% | Index Score 72.1
10Camden-Burlington Counties, New Jersey
The Philadelphia suburbs are thriving, with strong growth in banking, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. Access to the Northeast's major cities also is a plus.
Overall Rank 65 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.6% | 5-Year Job Growth 9.1% | Index Score 71.7
Banks, medical-device makers, call centers, insurance firms, manufacturers, and software developers have all relocated to the region in recent years. Good infrastructure and affordable costs appeal to newcomers.
Overall Rank 81 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.6% | 5-Year Job Growth 5.5% | Index Score 66.9
12Charlotte, North Carolina
The Charlotte area is home to Bank of America and Wachovia, whose presence has spawned a financial services sector that includes customer-service and data-processing centers. Medical equipment and pharmaceutical makers appreciate a highly skilled work force.
Overall Rank 91 | 1-Year Job Growth 3.3% | 5-Year Job Growth 4.3% | Index Score 65.8
13Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
The Research Triangle area thrives on innovation in life sciences, information technology, and software development. Raleigh is also the state capital and the government accounts for two of every 10 jobs.
Overall Rank 92 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.8% | 5-Year Job Growth 5.0% | Index Score 65.6
The health care, leisure, and hospitality sectors all recorded high growth last year. Construction projects were boosted by the revitalization of the city's downtown district, which includes condos, retail shops, and office space. The city recently opened a business-development office in Guangzhou, China.
Overall Rank 96 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.9% | 5-Year Job Growth 4.9% | Index Score 64.9
15Salt Lake City
From industrial banks to medical-device makers, back-office call centers to pharmaceutical labs, Salt Lake City is firing on all cylinders. Real-estate costs have edged up, but the city hopes tax breaks and other incentives will lure new companies.
Overall Rank 98 | 1-Year Job Growth 3.3% | 5-Year Job Growth 3.8% | Index Score 64.4
16Putnam-Rockland-Westchester counties, New York
Proximity to New York City and the scenic Hudson Valley, and a high-tech infrastructure make these suburban counties an obvious choice for small firms and blue-chip corporations alike. Clusters of biotech and IT outfits have formed in the region.
Overall Rank 121 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.3% | 5-Year Job Growth 5.1% | Index Score 60.5
17Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California
Orange County got whacked by the tech downturn of 2001, shedding thousands of jobs. Today the area is on the rebound, led by explosive growth in the services sector. Financial services added 4,100 jobs last year alone, and the health care industry is scooping up as much medical personnel as it can find.
Overall Rank 124 | 1-Year Job Growth 1.7% | 5-Year Job Growth 6.5% | Index Score 60.1
More companies are taking advantage of the region's proximity to markets in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Port of Miami creates jobs in wholesale trade, and professional services and construction are seeing robust growth. Tourists inject $13.5 billion a year into the local economy.
Overall Rank 126 | 1-Year Job Growth 2.2% | 5-Year Job Growth 3.1% | Index Score 59.2
Construction is booming as the population expands beyond the urban center of Sacramento and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Population growth is also ratcheting up demand for services, especially health care and education.
Overall Rank 132 | 1-Year Job Growth 1.5% | 5-Year Job Growth 8.5% | Index Score 58.2
Construction crews have been busy with new hotels, condos, and homes. Action in biotech and telecom (Qualcomm is based here) has sparked a boom in services, which has added some 10,000 jobs since 2000.
Overall Rank 133 | 1-Year Job Growth 1.4% | 5-Year Job Growth 7.2% | Index Score 57.9
|22||Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA-NC||158||1.1%||5.4%||53.7|
|23||Oklahoma City, OK||164||1.8%||2.1%||52.5|
|25||San Antonio, TX||171||1.5%||3.5%||51.5|
|26||Austin-Round Rock, TX||173||2.0%||0.5%||51.3|
|31||Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, TX||193||1.4%||2.6%||47.0|
|34||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||212||1.7%||1.3%||43.1|
|35||Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||226||1.2%||0.1%||41.5|
|36||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||230||1.3%||0.5%||41.4|
|44||Kansas City, MO||259||1.1%||-1.4%||37.5|
|46||Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA||279||1.0%||-1.3%||35.5|
|48||St. Louis, MO||288||0.8%||-0.6%||34.2|
|49||New York City, NY||292||1.2%||-3.9%||33.8|
|55||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||330||0.3%||-2.1%||29.8|
|60||San Francisco, CA||358||1.1%||-13.2%||25.3|