“I’m gonna move away from here;
You can find me if you want to go there.”
While this chorus of a time-honored Paul Peňa song may seem as circuitous as a Yogi Berra adage, it may well be adopted as the battle cry of those compelled to pull up roots and relocate in order to survive in a sinking economy. If you are among those job hopefuls contemplating a move, consider the top ten cities nationwide in terms of employment, as defined recently by Indeed.com’s list of 50 largest metro areas:
1. Washington, DC
2. Baltimore, MD
3. San Jose, CA
4. Austin, TX
5. Hartford, CT
6. Seattle, WA
7. Salt Lake City, UT
8. Denver, CO
9. Boston, MA
10. Las Vegas, NV, which ties with Charlotte, NC
Why is the employment rate healthier in these areas than it is for the rest of the country? A second perusal of the list reveals that the Top Ten are large cities attracting substantial commuter populations. In other words, there is a higher percentage of industry concentrated in these metropolises (office complexes, factories, and other corporate facilities) than actual residents. An even closer look discloses the following facts:
It may come as no great surprise that, while local and State governments have instituted lay-offs in the face of the recession, Federal government has not. Historically, Washington takes care of it’s own. This practice translates into 133 job postings per 1,000 residents in May 2009, equating to the nation’s highest per capita employment rate.
By virtue of its proximity to our capitol, Baltimore, Maryland boasts the second highest employment percentage. It’s the commuter aspect, again, although geography is not the sole factor. The city also maintains a firm foothold in the fields of healthcare and higher education, industries that, while not entirely recession proof, have been recession resistant. With the national average rate of unemployment at 9.4% this past May, Baltimore was reporting 7.2%.
Although San Jose, California’s regional unemployment rate is high, a situation fueled, in part, by the disintegration of the housing industry, it still ranks as the third best U.S. city in terms of employment. Alive and recuperating, Silicon Valley’s technology industries continue to offer jobs to those with the relevant expertise and/or transferable skill sets.
The one place ill advisable for relocation is Motor City. Once a booming hub of auto manufacturing, Detroit, Michigan has been hit hard by the economy. Like a game of dominoes, the closure of production facilities instigated the toppling of many car dealerships and ancillary industries, thus pulling jobs into the black hole of unemployment.