Find A Career In These Top Cities

by The Smarter Wallet on April 24, 2009

Where can we build a career these days? Various parts of the United States are homes to some industries that are doing quite well even in this recession. I wanted to take a look at some spots where getting a job may not be so tough if you happen to have the right skills. Would you consider moving to a new city for a chance at a new career? Here are some of the best places where you can get work and where certain industry sectors are still thriving, courtesy of and

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Find A Career In These Top Cities

1. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Oregon
Growing Sectors: Education, Health Services sectors
Main Loss in Employment: Natural Resources, Mining, Construction, Transportation, Utilities, Manufacturing

2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Growing Sectors: Leisure, Hospitality, Entertainment, Natural Resources, Mining, Construction

3. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
Growing Sectors: Information, Government
Losing Sectors: Natural Resources, Mining, Construction, Manufacturing (heavy losses here)
There have been some contraction in the financial sector as well (down 1.2% after huge gains in jobs in past years).

4. Salt Lake City, Utah
Growing Sectors: Information, Technology, Education, Tourism, Transportation
Losing Sectors: Natural Resources, Mining, Construction

5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington
Growing Sectors: Information, Education, Health Services
Losing Sectors: Natural Resources, Mining, Construction

6. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
Growing Sectors: Government, Education, Health Services
Losing Sectors: Manufacturing, Wholesale, Natural Resources, Mining, Construction

7. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
Level Sectors (those that didn’t grow but stayed stable): Transportation and all else
Losing Sectors: Information, Manufacturing

8. San Antonio, Texas
Growing Sectors: Education, Health Care Services

9. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
Growing Sectors: Natural Resources, Mining, Construction, Education, Health Services, Wholesale, Manufacturing

10. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
Growing Sectors: Education, Health Services, Hospitality, Leisure
Losing Sectors: Manufacturing

11. Huntsville, Alabama
Major Industries: Defense, Aerospace, Telecom

12. Lafayette, Louisiana
Major Industries: Oil and Gas

13. Washington, D.C.
Major Industries: Government, Defense, Nonprofit

14. Madison, Wisconsin
Major Industries: Government, Education, Biotech

15. Boulder, Colorado
Major Industries: High Tech, Biotech, Education

I can see a trend here, where job growth seems to be primarily in the areas of health care and education. No surprise, as we’ve got a huge baby boomer generation that is getting older. Also, education seems to be an area where we are constantly short of workers; there’s consistent demand in this sector for skilled and trained individuals. More areas of possible growth are in the government and high tech/information sectors depending on where you go, while the weakest sectors are those in natural resources, mining, construction and manufacturing. You’d have to move to Oklahoma or some parts of Texas for the mining jobs.

Here’s something to ponder: if you’re unemployed, would you rather adapt to your location and try to develop skills that will be a fit for a job in your neighborhood, or would you instead move to a new location that has a demand for your current skills? I think it’s a toss up for most people, but I’d personally like to stay put; If I had to, I’d switch to a different type of job or even try to switch careers (to one that’s in better demand) if it meant that I could stay put. My home town roots run too deeply, that a move away would be much more disruptive than a career change at home.

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