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Some Cities Thrive in The Down Market

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In most of the country the employment prospects are bleak at best. For anyone who has been reading the papers, or looking for a job in the last few years, this is not really news at all. Some states have jobless numbers that are alarmingly high. Here is a look at the 10 worst off states in the current economy, according to information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

10. Georgia 10.3 %
9. North Carolina 10.5 %
8. Rhode Island 10.5 %
7. Florida 10.6 %
6. Mississippi 10.6 %
5. South Carolina 11.0%
4. District Of Columbia 11.1%
3. Michigan 11.1 %
2. California 11.9%
1. Nevada 13.4%

The picture can be bleak for those people who are in search of a job in most places.

Currently it is estimated that there are 5.9 million people who qualify as being “long-term unemployed”. These are people who have been looking for a job actively for at least 27 weeks with no success. These long-term unemployed face a risky proposition as their unemployment benefits run out and they lack new positions, many will have no income to live off of at all. Couple that with the sobering fact that almost one-third of the overall 13.9 million unemployed have not had a job in over a year and you can see a very depressing picture presented for job seekers.

As it turns out, some cities are actually showing growth. So, if you really want a job it may be worth considering a relocation. The cities that are showing this growth are not the ones you would think of as boom towns. As a matter of fact, if you don’t live near one the odds are you don’t think much about them at all.

Towns that are actually doing well right now include: Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wichita, Kansas, Worcester, Massachusetts and Twin Falls, Idaho. You have to admit, they are a bit of an odd combination. Yet all of these cities made their way onto the Fiscal Times’ 10 Best Places to Find a Job. Wondering what else they have in common?

According to what Bob Lerman, an economist at the Urban Institute and a professor at American University, told a reporter for Reuters it has to do with the industries that theses cities attract. These cities are heavy in both energy and agriculture. He did point out one anomaly in the growth, “What we’re missing from other business cycles is residential and other construction. That normally picks up when interest rates go down.”

Lets take Fort Wayne as an example. In the last year they grew about 8,000 new jobs. That is a little less than the 18,000 jobs that the city lost during the recession. This recent growth has dropped the city’s unemployment rate by 1.3 percentage points

Locals seem to be taking the good news with a humble attitude. “We’ve gotten not only a lot of jobs, but a lot of good-paying jobs,” Andi Udris, president of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, told a reporter for Reuters “Sometimes you get lucky.”

Some Cities Thrive in The Down Market by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes