Skip to comments.The Cities Where Everyone Has a Job
Posted on 12/05/2012 3:36:09 PM PST by SeekAndFind
While the U.S. unemployment rate has improved markedly from the double digits during the recession, it was still stuck at 7.9% as of October. Some regions fare far better than rest of the country, despite the fact that more than 12 million people are still considered unemployed in the U.S. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the 10 metropolitan areas in the U.S. where unemployment barely exists.
Higher education and industries that support it are the reason these metropolitan areas are doing well. College towns across America tend to have lower unemployment rates than the population as a whole, Martin Kohli, Chief Regional Economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained in an interview. Universities often provide relatively stable jobs compared to employment in cyclical industries such as construction. The University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa State University is located in Ames, and the University of Nebraska is located in Lincoln all three metro areas are on our list.
These [metro areas] would be dominated by major industries such as the state university, Kohli said. The major jobs associated with major universities are teaching and administration, though there would be some research jobs.
In addition, the metropolitan areas with low unemployment are, with few exceptions, clustered around the Great Plains area. Kohli explained that states such as Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and until very recently, North Dakota, have seen far smaller population growth compared to the rest of the country. Although these places havent seen rapid job growth in recent years (except for North Dakota), fewer people are competing for the jobs available in these regions.
The jobs market in many of these metropolitan areas have also benefited from rising oil prices. Three of metro areas on the list with the lowest unemployment are based in North Dakota, which has brought thousands of people to the state due to the abundance of relatively high-paying jobs in the fracking industry. Midland, Texas, another metro area with low unemployment, has benefited a booming oil industry, although Kohli emphasized that not every part of Texas has benefited like Midland has.
24/7 Wall St. identified the ten metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rates as of October, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. State and local median household income was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Data on the biggest industries was also obtained from the BLS.
These are the cities where everyone works.
10. Logan, Utah-Idaho
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
> Total population:124,813
> Median household income: $46,356
While the October unemployment rate was less than half of the national rate of 7.9%, the metropolitan area is not affluent. In fact, the 2011 median household income in the area was much lower than the national median of $50,502 and the state median of $55,869. Only 2% of families in the Logan made more than $200,000 in 2011, significantly less than the 5.6% of families across the U.S. Utah State University, which employs more than 2,600 people, is located in Logan. Education and training represents just shy of 10% of the total workforce.
9. Burlington, South Burlington, Vt.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
> Total population: 213,624
> Median household income: $60,771
Burlingtons unemployment rate of 3.8% in October was significantly better than Vermonts 5.5% rate, which itself was far better than the nations. The median household income in the Burlington area of $60,771 was significantly higher than the $52,776 median income in Vermont for 2011. Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, which has 10,459 undergraduate students, 1,540 graduate students and 1,471 full- and part-time faculty. Education and training makes up roughly 8% of the the metropolitan areas workforce.
8. Sioux Falls, S.D.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.7%
> Total population: 232,347
> Median household income: $55,609
As of October 2012, there were 140,400 nonfarm jobs in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area, a growth of 2.6% from the previous year. Major employment sectors that have grown in this time include manufacturing, which grew its workforce by 5.6%, along with education and health services, which grew by 4.7%. The largest employers in the area, as of 2011, were Sanford Health and Avera health, employing 7,703 and 5,921 people, respectively. Financial services is also a major industry in the region, with Wells Fargo and Citigroup the fifth- and sixth-largest employers in the Sioux Falls region in 2011.
7. Iowa City, Iowa
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th)
> Total population:154,893
> Median household income:$52,602
Iowa City, as of October 2012, had approximately 93,300 jobs in the area, an increase of 2.2% from the previous year. More than a third of these jobs, or 34,300, were in the government sector, which grew a modest 1.5% year-over-year. To compare, government jobs nationwide contracted during that period. Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa, which employs approximately 13,000 people, including 1,700 faculty positions. In addition to a low unemployment rate, Iowa City had a median household income of $52,602 in 2011, higher than the states $49,500 median income.
6. Ames, Iowa
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th)
> Total population: 89,663
> Median household income: $45,866
As of October, there were approximately 50,800 nonfarm jobs in the Ames area, which was 3.7% higher from the year before. The government sector made up a huge portion of employment, with 22,000 jobs, an increase of 4.3% from the previous year. Like Iowa City, Ames is a college town with Iowa State bringing in educated professionals from around the world. Unlike Iowa City, however, the regions median household income of $45,866 in 2011 was well below the U.S. median of $50,502 and Iowas median of $49,500.
5. Midland, Texas
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.3% (tied for 6th)
> Total population:140,308
> Median household income: $54,330
In October Midlands unemployment rate was just 3.3% exactly half the 6.6% unemployment rate in the state. This is a solid improvement from 12 months prior, when Midland already had the eighth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, at just 4.1%. According to the BLS, the mining, logging and construction industry was the top employment sector in the metropolitan area as of October, growing 6.3% from the prior year. In addition, Midlands median household income of $54,330 in 2011 was nearly $5,000 higher than the median income of Texas.
4. Lincoln, Neb.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.2%
> Total population: 307,165
> Median household income:$49,315
Lincolns unemployment rate in October was slightly lower than the previous years rate. The University of Nebraskas main campus is located in Lincoln, providing a strong employment boost to the region. Despite all of this, the median household income in Lincoln was lower than the median income of $50,296 across the entire state.
3. Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.1%
> Total population: 98,512
> Median household income: $46,718
Grand Forks is one of three metropolitan areas on this list located in North Dakota, a state that has benefited tremendously from the oil boom. Out of approximately 54,200 people in the Grand Forks labor force in October, only 1,700 were unemployed, resulting in an unemployment rate of 3.1%. In October 2011, the regions unemployment rate was 3.9%, which ties Grand Forks with Midland for the largest unemployment drop on this list. The largest employer in the region is the University of North Dakota.
2. Fargo, N.D.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.8%
> Total population: 211,729
> Median household income: $52,393
Fargo, the largest metropolitan area in North Dakota, was one of just two metros in the country with an unemployment rate below 3% in October. There were approximately 133,800 nonfarm jobs as of October, an increase of 4.7% compared to the previous year. Although mining, logging and construction makes up a relatively small portion of Fargos workforce, its workforce has increased by 17.3% in a 12-month span.
1. Bismarck, N.D.
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.2%
> Total population: 110,879
> Median household income: $58,781
Bismarck, N.D. had the lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas in the U.S. with just 2.2% of the workforce unemployed in October. In addition, the median household income in Bismarck in 2011 was significantly higher than the U.S. median income of $50,502. There were approximately 68,800 nonfarm jobs in the metropolitan area as of October, an increase of 5.2% compared to the previous year. This includes a 7.1% increase in jobs in the education and health services sector, the largest sector in the Bismarck region.
I’m surprised how low the median family income is in all of these places.
I hope they are low cost-of-living areas.
What do these cities share in terms of racial demographics? Not a rhetorical question. They are all pretty much lily white. I wonder if that factors into their low unemployment rate.
Also note that 5 of these 10 cities are State capitols. They are well-employed not just because of universities but because of the expansion of government in those cities piggy-backing on school hiring. Since 2010, State government hiring has outpaced private sector hiring at near 3:1.
I suspect a fair portion of the private sector jobs in college towns are supported by the taxpayers in some way or another due to state and federal money flowing in.
I can only think of one relative of mine living in a college town who isn’t employed by the school and that one relative works for the city of Kalamazoo.
1 cousin (and her “partner”) in Minneapolis works for the college there. 1 cousin and her husband both work for a college in Chicago. 2 cousins and 1 wife work for Western Michigan University, My uncle works for UofM in Ann Arbor and my aunt retired from there.
Another issue is the tech start ups that settle around college towns and the subsidies they get.
I figger the reason Lansing isn’t on the list is because of the spat they have with their eastern neighbors. Stuck up university types v. blue-collar types.
I only see two, Lincoln and Bismark.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and Pierre is the capital of South Dakota.
Lansing is downright conservative when compared to Ann Arbor.
Man, I hate it when facts get in the way of a good story!
I was also in error on Vermont (Montpelier), Utah (SLC), and Iowa (Des Moines).
Gotta stop shooting from the hip after a long day (still!) at the office.
A house that would cost $750K in Connecticut would be closer to $200K in a place like Fargo,ND.
“A house that would cost $750K in Connecticut would be closer to $200K in a place like Fargo,ND.
I guess. I’m in a western suburb of Boston and home prices are ridiculous.
Having seen the oil boom in the Permian Basin with my own eyes, I completely believe Midland... Having stayed and lived in Hobbs for months at a time I just can’tpossibly explain to people what this boom is like... they are hiring Domino’s pizza delivery drivers at $16/hr, with signing bonuses, and Domino’s pays for gas.
See for yourself
Provides detailed demographics for just about anyplace in the usa.
And you are correct about the racial makeup, although I don’t believe there is sufficient reason to relate racial makeup to low unemployment.
The latest unemployment figure for Chandler, AZ is 5.6%.
It’s good to be Chandler.
|2010 Quality of Life Indexes||Chandler, AZ||Arizona||United States|
|Quality of Life Index||180||129||100|
|Mortality Index (All Causes)||25||88||100|
Quality of Life Index: Based on the results of a study group, this index is calculated based on what variables affect individuals as they search for a new home, how much they would enjoy living in a place and the impact of each selected variable. For example, the crime index affects the total quality of life index negatively and the amusement index affects it positively.
Positive Variables Weighted for Quality of Life Index: Amusement, Culture, Education, Medical, Religion, Restaurants and Weather
Negative Variables Weighted for Quality of Life Index: Crime, Earthquake and Mortality
Index score: (100 = National Average) for an area is compared to the national average of 100. A score of 200 indicates twice the national average, while 50 indicates half the national average.
|2010 Population by Race and Ethnicity||Chandler, AZ||Arizona||United States|
|Population by Race|
|Black or African American||3.95%||3.47%||12.01%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||1.49%||4.80%||0.98%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||0.20%||0.21%||0.21%|
|Population by Ethnicity|
|Population Non Hispanic||75.36%||69.71%||83.95%|
Race versus Ethnicity: According to the Census, race and ethnicity are considered two separate and distinct identities. Hispanic or Latino origin is asked as a separate question and categorized under ethnicity. In addition to their race and/or races, all respondents are categorized by one of two ethnicities, which are "Hispanic" and "Non Hispanic."
Hispanic Ethnicity: According to the Census, people of Hispanic origin, were those who indicated that their origin was Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or some other Hispanic origin. It should be noted that people of Hispanic origin may be of any race.