The 10 Best American Cities for Job Seekers This Fall

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It seems that if you’re searching for employment this fall, moving to Texas might not be a bad idea. Three cities in the Lone Star State topped a recent survey which analyzed job growth in Q4. Several other cities in warm parts of the country also made our list, so if you’ve been thinking about moving South for the winter, that might be a wise decision, after all.

And while the warmer areas of the country, particularly the West and Southwest seem to be the regions of the country with the highest rates of job growth this fall, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that all four regions surveyed reported a positive Net Employment Outlook, which is good news if you’re currently looking for a job in other parts of the country.

Certain regions are growing jobs faster than others however; the Northeast, the survey found, is one region where jobs growth is a bit slower and more stable. The five worst states to find a job this fall? Alaska, Maine, New Jersey, and Arkansas, according to the Manpower survey.

So which industries are hiring the most? The survey found that Leisure & Hospitality is the sector doing the most hiring, followed by the mining, wholesale and retail trade, as well as the transportation and utilities sectors.

10. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Population: 243,344
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 22%

The capital of Wisconsin is a vibrant college town nestled between lakes Mendota and Monana, Madison is a beautiful place to be. The state’s second-largest city after Milwaukee, Madison has taken home titles such as the nation’s “most-educated city” and one of the best places to live in the U.S. The University of Wisconsin – Madison is a prestigious research institution, particularly in the fields of life sciences and healthcare; it has been rated among the world’s top 20 universities.

Madison’s largest sectors include (unsurprisingly) health care and life sciences, but it also boasts strong agricultural, advanced manufacturing and information technology sectors. Being that Madison is also the state’s capital, government and education also comprise a large share jobs.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

9. Jackson, Mississippi

  • Population: 173,638
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 22%

Jackson has received a lot of bad press recently. The city is currently ranked among the most dangerous cities in the U.S., but despite it’s rough reputation, Jackson is a city with plenty of charm, too. As TripAdvisor puts it: “Good old-fashioned Southern hospitality and rich history” characterize the state’s capital. Frequently known as the “City with Soul,” Jackson also features a vibrant and authentic blues scene.

Jackson’s largest sectors include government and education, with health care, automotive, and trade industries comprising some of the city’s other biggest employers. Agriculture remains a fairly sizable industry as well, and cattle continues to be the area’s largest commodity.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Population: 229,426
  • Net increase (in employers who plan to hire): 22%

Another capital city and college town, Baton Rouge is the political hub of conservative Louisiana, and is also the second largest metropolis in the state. Described by the New York Times as a “laid-back Mississippi river town,” Baton Rouge is an intriguing blend of several different cultural influences, from French, Spanish, Creole and Cajun that manifest in the city’s musical and culinary heritage.

The city’s largest industries include the petrochemical industry (ExxonMobil Chemical is among the Red Stick’s largest employers), as well as growing medical, research, motion picture and technology sectors. Technology in particular, is becoming a big industry for Baton Rouge, with the city quickly becoming the technological capital of the South.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

7. Grand Rapids – Michigan

  • Population: 266,394
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 23%

Grand Rapids, which once known as the furniture capital of the U.S., has certainly come a long way since then. The city manages to keep a small-town feel despite being home to more than 180,000 people. Located just half and hour’s drive away from Lake Michigan, there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of Western Michigan.

Healthcare is among Grand Rapids’ largest industries, and it’s growing. Spectrum Health, the largest employer in Western Michigan is headquartered in Grand Rapids; the medical center currently employs about 16,000 staff and 1,500 physicians. Grand Rapids is also known for its world-class “medical mile,” and medical research and education are important fields of growth. But healthcare isn’t the only industry in Grand Rapids; the city is also an important center of automotive, aviation and furniture manufacturing and is, interestingly, the home of several different Christian publishing companies.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

6. Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida

  • Population: 234,021
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 23%

The largest city between Tampa and Miami, Cape Coral is known for its spectacular gulf coast beaches, golf courses, and world-class fishing. Known as an “angler’s paradise,” the city boasts more than 400 miles of canals, more than any other city in the world. As well as offering great fishing, Cape Coral is known for its plentiful opportunities for boating, swimming, and other water sports.

Cape Coral’s largest industries include local government services, health care, retail and real estate, as well as construction. The city is becoming more and more a destination for tourists, as well as newcomers to the area who are re-locating, so construction is likely to continue to be an important industry.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, California

  • Population: 1.2 million
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 25%

Known as “the capital of the Silicon Valley,” San Jose has an impressive concentration of high-technology engineering, computer and microprocessor companies. The city certainly seems to reign King in the Silicon Valley; currently, the city produces more U.S. patents than any other city in the country. TripAdvisor notes that though San Jose is perhaps best known for chips and computers, in reality the city contrasts its high tech reputation with its rich Spanish history. The San Jose area is also home to some of the richest people in the country; the city has the nation’s highest median income and has on the nation’s highest costs of living to boot.

As you might expect, San Jose is dominated by the tech sector. Household names like Adobe and Cisco Systems are both headquartered there, along with major facilities of tech companies like IBM, Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard. The North American headquarters of Samsung is also in San Jose.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

4. Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Population: 2.2 million
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 25%

Phoenix and neighboring cities Mesa and Scottsdale are among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. With a population topping 4.3 million people, the Phoenix metro area is one of the top 15 largest metro areas in the country. A golfer’s paradise with its “near perfect year-round weather and several impeccably designed championship courses,” Phoenix is home to more than golf and “snowbirds.” The city is close to some amazing natural attractions, including the Grand Canyon as well as numerous desert parks and preserves; rock climbing is also a population draw. Culturally, the Heard Museum of Native American history is internationally renowned and nearby Scottsdale has been ranked among the nation’s best “foodie cities.”

Real estate, financial services, manufacturing, health care, and retail are among Phoenix’s largest industries; government is also an important industry, as Phoenix is the state’s capital. Phoenix produces computers, electronic equipment, missiles, aircraft parts, chemicals, and processed foods, among other goods.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. McAllen – Edinburg – Mission, Texas

  • Population: 298,525
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 25%

McAllen, Texas, lies at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley, and sits along the banks of the Rio Grande. The city was formerly a rural and primarily agriculturally-driven border town but has seen steady growth since the 20th century and it is now among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. It is now an important international trade area, and it’s primary industries are trade, retail sales, and health care.

Along with international trade, McAllen is also the retail center of the area, and attracts many tourists from Mexico who come to McAllen for its shopping opportunities and other leisure activities.

Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown, Texas

  • Population: 2.3 million
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 25%

The fourth largest city in the U.S. is booming with industry and energy; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 companies than Houston. And while the Space City may not be the first American city that comes to mind when you think of culture and the arts, TripAdvisor reports that the area is becoming more and more cosmopolitan. In Houston, you can find world-class opera, ballet, symphony and theatre, along with plenty of museums.

The city’s major industries include natural resources, aerospace (Space Center Houston remains a popular tourist destination), shipping and finance; other important industries include mining, government, manufacturing, and construction.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, Texas

  • Population: 2.4 million
  • Net Increase (in employers who plan to hire): 27%

The ninth largest city in the U.S. and fourth largest metropolitan area, Dallas has long been a prominent center of both the oil and cotton industries, though it is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas. Dallas boasts many five-star hotels and world-class restaurants, which often TexMex cuisine as well as barbecue and steak. Mild weather and great shopping draws many tourists each year.

Formerly, the Dallas – Fort Worth area’s primary industries were farming and cotton production and manufacturing. Nowadays the city is a booming tech center, primarily telecommunications technology. Texas Instruments, AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, Sprint, and Verizon all have facilities in Dallas.

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