Sunday, March 15, 2009

Best and worst cities for new jobs this Spring put the following together.

Best Cities for New Jobs This Spring

Courtesy of Washington State Tourism

1.Yakima, Wash.
Net employment outlook: +21%

Yakima is known for its abundance of apple varieties, and last year's harvest boosted employment. Packing and juice companies that revolve around the apple orchards helped carry that employment through the winter, something that wouldn't happen in a more ordinary year. Yakima also grows hops for beer and ships them around the world.

2. Kennewick, Wash.
Net employment outlook: +19%

Once home to the nation's most Ph.D.'s per capita, Kennewick has an impressive number of engineers and scientists. Pacific Northwest National Lab employs many of them to convert agricultural materials into plastics and biofuels and perform research involving fuel cells. The region's farmland also provides jobs, with workers growing potatoes, corn, asparagus and wheat.

3. Anchorage, Alaska
Net employment outlook: +18%

A high-growth area in Anchorage this year is health care, which has added nearly 2,700 jobs since 2003 and employs close to 15,000 people. Retail is also booming, and although it may seem strange to those in the rest of the country, Anchorage just added its first Target and is soon to get its first Walgreens and Kohl's.

4. Amarillo, Texas
Net employment outlook: +15%

Pantex is one of Amarillo's largest employers, with more than 3,000 workers refurbishing nuclear warheads--the only place in the world where it's done. Beyond that, medical services and food processing are big. The Harrington Medical Center employs 8,000 to 10,000 people, and Blue Cross and Nationwide Insurance are also a presence. California-based Hilmar Cheese recently opened a plant in Amarillo.

5. Sioux Falls, S.D.
Net employment outlook: +14%

Despite recent economic news, financial services are flourishing in Sioux Falls. Citigroup built its headquarters there, and Wells Fargo, HSBC and Premier Bankcard employ close to 3,000 people. In addition to the banks, Avera Health and Sanford employ more than 10,000 people.

Click here for the full list of Best Cities for New Jobs This Spring.

Worst Cities For New Jobs This Spring

© iStockphoto

1. Cape Coral--Ft. Myers, Fla.
Net employment outlook: -16%

The entire state of Florida has taken a hit from the crumbling of its construction and real estate industries. Florida and Arizona were among the first states struck by the housing slump, and they have yet to recover. The state's hospitality industry has also been hit hard since fewer people are taking vacations.

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Net employment outlook: -16%

Manufacturing has taken a beating here. Not too long ago Puerto Rico was considered an emerging market for manufacturing since the cost of doing business was inexpensive. Large companies built plants because it was cheaper than in the States. Now Vietnam and the Dominican Republic are cheaper, and manufactures are sending their business there.

3. Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Net employment outlook: -14%

Like so many areas in Florida, Port St. Lucie was hit by the one-two punch of drops in both the hospitality industry and construction.

4. Miami--Fort Lauderdale--Pompano Beach, Fla.
Net employment outlook: -14%

In addition to leisure, hospitality and construction, professional and financial services in this stretch of southeastern Florida have also suffered.

5. Santa Barbara--Santa Maria--Goleta, Calif.
Net employment outlook: -11%

There has been a significant decline in construction in this part of the country. What's more, there has been a reduction in financial activities, which in these parts means mortgage brokers. While many homeowners elsewhere have been refinancing their mortgages to get lower interest rates, homeowners here haven't, probably because so many owe more than their homes are worth and are in foreclosure. Another weak area is durable-goods manufacturing, which was a core industry here and has taken a hit too.

Click here for the full list of Worst Cities for New Jobs This Spring.

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