When the American economy going through what some have called the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, one might wonder if any parts of the country have still thrived during the recession. What were the best cities to find a job during 2009? A variety of Internet lists rate the best cities to find a job in, and Madison, Wisconsin topped the list by Ajilon Professional Staffing for the past year. Besides that list, other lists rating the best cities for employment will also be examined.
The city which many call “recession proof,” was picked for its high number of new jobs and low unemployment rate. It had an unemployment rate of 3.5% in October 2008, while the national rate was at that time 6.5%. In December, 2009, with the national rate at around 10%, the rate was still only 5.8%.
Experts say Madison may be one of the best cities to find a job, in 2009 or any year, because the University of Wisconsin is a major employer. In addition, the research arm of the school, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, has been responsible for growth the health care, biotech, and medical device industries. Scientists affiliated with the school receive grants and help patent new discoveries.
According to Adecco Staffing, Madison also benefits from a wide range of industries, from start ups to well established companies. As the seat of state and county governments, a lot of people also find public jobs.
Other cities recognized by Ajilon as among the best to find a job in 2009 also benefited from government jobs helping bring about a low unemployment rate. The city of Washington, D.C. is the largest employer for the town. In addition to the jobs traditionally created by the local government, more were created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Many also receive jobs in Washington because of the many law firms, defense contractors, nonprofit agencies, and professional associations.
Baltimore, Maryland, also has a low unemployment rate and benefits from being so close to Washington, D.C. Many local residents drive to the nation’s capital every day to work.
Boston also has not been hit by the economic downturn as have other cities. While New York City lost thousands of financial industry positions during the Recession, Boston only lost around 900. Boston also benefits from hedge funds, deposit banks, and trust services. These financial institutions were not as affected by the economic downturn as much as large institutions in New York City.
According to jobs.aol.com, other cities which were a good place to find a job in the past year were Richmond, Virginia, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Even though the unemployment in Richmond has increased from 3.1% to 4.4%, the rate is still far below the national average. The rate may have remained low because it does not depend on one or two large companies to provide the bulk of jobs for the area. There are many jobs in manufacturing, public accounting, and service. There are also many jobs available because the area is only three hours from the nation’s capital. There are also plenty of jobs because of the military bases in the area.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was another of the top cities in the country to find a job. The unemployment rate was only 4.8%, barely unchanged from a year prior at 4.7%. The health care industry has provided many jobs to help elderly citizens in the city. Because of the low cost of living in the city, many environmental, health care, and energy companies have relocated to Milwaukee from Chicago.
According usnews.com, other cities which were a good place to look for a job in 2009 were Anchorage, Alaska; Arlington, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; and HoustonTexas.
Anchorage experienced the 20th straight year of job growth. Although the city may have been hurt by the recession, it still maintained job growth because of the energy industry, tourism, and jobs in education, and government (which provides 20% of the jobs in the city).
Arlington, Virginia, has benefited from jobs from the Federal Government and a variety of private employers, such as Lockheed Martin and U.S. Airways.
Columbus, Ohio, has benefited from strong distribution and transportation industries. The city has also benefited from hospitality, healthcare, the tech industry, manufacturing, and jobs from Ohio State University, Bob Evans, and other employers.
Honolulu has benefited from tourism, government jobs, health care, and banking jobs.
Houston has benefited from having affordable houses, 27 Fortune 500 companies, including Marathon Oil, healthcare jobs, and low prices for commodities.
The 10 best U.S. cities to find a job in by 2009 Tara Weiss Msnbc.msn.com
Local Unemployment Statistics, no author listed, Bls.gov
Find a Job, no author listed, jobs.aol.com
America’s Best Places to Find a Job 2009 by Liz Wolgemuth, Usnews.com