Solving Cities

Small cities, big job growth

Small cities, big job growth

Posting in Cities

Big cities often take all the credit. Thanks to the latest "Best Cities for Jobs" roundup by Joel Kotkin of Forbes magazine, small cities are finally having their chance to shine.

When it comes to employment growth, it's typically the major metropolitan areas that steal headlines: Houston, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; or San Jose, California. Thanks to the latest "Best Cities for Jobs" roundup by Joel Kotkin of Forbes magazine, small cities are finally having their chance to shine.

Analyzing data metropolitan statistical areas from the Bureau of Labor Statistics using a special formula to account for long, medium, long-term, and current growth, Forbes was able to compile a list of the best small cities (those with less than 150,000 jobs) to find employment. Here are the top five:

1. Odessa, Texas

Inspiration for Friday Night Lights, Odessa, Texas, boasts a staggering 9.5 percent year-on-year job growth rate. Long known for its connection to the oil industry, three oil wells just outside of Odessa host the truTV series "Black Gold."

2. Midland, Texas

President George W. Bush may have been born in New Haven, Connecticut, but it was the City of Midland, Texas, where the Bush family lived between 1951 and 1955 that the 42nd President of the United States first picked up his southern accent. In 2012, Midland boasted 6.2 percent year-on-year job growth.

3. Columbus, Indiana

Birthplace of Chuck Taylor, namesake of Converse sneakers, Columbus, Indiana, is also home to Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor, 240Sweet Artesian Marshmallows, and the Cummins Engine Museum -- which features an "exploded" engine. Year-on-year job growth there was 10.2 percent.

4. San Angelo, Texas

Built across the river from historic Fort Concho, the City of San Angelo now hosts the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, the Goodfellow Air Force Base, and unemployment numbers well below the national average of 8.2 percent. According to Forbes, San Angelo's year-on-year employment growth was 4.3 percent.

5. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia

Home to Virginia Tech and innovative projects like the Blacksburg Electronic Village, Blacksburg, Virginia, also hosts Huckleberry Trail. According to Forbes, the area's year-on-year employment growth was 7.1 percent.

[via Forbes]

Photos: Boston Public Library/Flickr, Boston Public Library/Flickr, Chicago Geek/Flickr, Paul Lowry/Flickr, Team Traveller/Flickr

Share this

Claire Lambrecht

Contributing Writer

Claire Lambrecht has written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, The Nation, and CBS MoneyWatch. Previously, she taught English as a Teach for America Corps Member and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She holds degrees from Cornell University, the University of Hawaii, and the Arthur M. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure