The 20 Best Cities For Finding A Job

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Photo: realestatemidlandtexas.com

Since the financial crisis hit in 2007, unemployment has been one of the most talked about numbers in the media.The US as a whole is hovering over the 10% mark and if you take a look at underemployment numbers, it becomes even grimmer. But keep the hope alive, because according to Bureau of labour Statistics data, there areĀ  hundreds of cities in the United States that have kept their unemployment rate under 10% and that’s a good thing.

So who has done the best job of keeping unemployment to a minimum? Let’s examine the 20 cities where being out of work isn’t a huge concern.

Lake Charles, Louisiana: 5.8% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Thousands in the Lake Area are employed by the petro-chemical refineries located across the river near Sulphur and Westlake. Some of the corporations with facilities in or around the city include PPG Industries, ConocoPhillips, and Citgo Petroleum Corporation. The Trunkline LNG terminal, immediately southwest of Lake Charles, is one of the United States' few LNG terminals. It has facilities for LNG receipt, storage, and re-gasification. Lake Charles Cogeneration, a subsidiary of Leucadia National, began construction of a $1.6 billion petroleum coke gasification plant in early 2009.

Manufacturing has been beginning to achieve economic success in the area in order to diversify the economic base of the city. Chennault International Airport hosts Aeroframe, which services aeroplanes, and a Northrop Grumman facility. Louisiana Geothermal of Lake Charles will begin construction of a geothermal electric plant. Aeroframe recently announced it will add 300 aerospace jobs at Chennault. The Shaw Group has built a large manufacturing facility which will manufacture parts for nuclear power plants. The company has assured the city and residents that nuclear material and radioactive waste are not involved at the facility. Shaw will employ over one thousand workers when it is up to full capacity.

Source: BLS.gov

Alexandria, Louisiana: 5.8% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

In the early 1800s, the Port of Alexandria brought goods to the area and shipped cotton and other local products to the rest of the country. A ferry connected the cities of Alexandria and Pineville until a bridge was built across the Red in 1900.

Today, Port facilities include: a 40-ton crane for off-loading, a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) warehouse, 13,600-ton bulk fertiliser warehouse, a 3,400-ton bulk fertiliser dome structure and a 5,000-ton dome which was added in January 2005.

The petroleum off-loading facility includes two 55,000 bbl (8,700 m3) tanks, one-15,000 BBL tank capable of handling two barges and five truck off-loading simultaneously. There is also a general cargo dock with access to rail and a hopper barge unloading dock with conveyor system.

Today's modern facilities and the Port's central location with its connection to the Mississippi River provide excellent opportunities for importers and exporters.

Source: BLS.gov

Midland, Texas: 5.7% Unemployment Rate

Midland, Texas is where the Bush family hails from and has economic activity surround energy markets and public service.

Source: BLS.gov

Rapid City, South Dakota: 5.6% Unemployment Rate

Lawrence, Kansas: 5.6% Unemployment

The only thing Lawrence has going for it is a local college and equal rights for many, meaning the local 7-11 must be making a fortune.

Source: BLS.gov

Honolulu, Hawaii: 5.6% Unemployment Rate

Hawaii's capital serves as hub for air transportation and shipping and has a very large tourism industry.

Source: BLS.gov

Amarillo, Texas: 5.6% Unemployment Rate

Logan, Utah: 5.5% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Logan has a wide diversity of economic sectors with a focus on education, manufacturing and processing, medical services, agriculture, and retail businesses. The city's largest employer is Utah State University, with other major employers including Icon Health & Fitness, Cache County School District, Logan Regional Hospital, Thermo-Fisher Laboratories, Gossner Foods, and Schreiber Foods.

Source: BLS.gov

Ithaca, New York: 5.5% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

The economy of Ithaca is based on education and manufacturing with high tech and tourism in strong supporting roles. As of 2006, Ithaca remains one of the few expanding economies in economically troubled New York State outside of New York City, and draws commuters from the neighbouring rural counties of Cortland, Tioga, and Schuyler, as well as from the more urbanized Chemung County.

With some level of success, Ithaca has tried to maintain a traditional downtown shopping area that includes the Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall and centre Ithaca, a small mixed-use complex built at the end of the urban renewal era. Some in the community regret that downtown has lost vitality to two expanding commercial zones to the northeast and southwest of the old city. These areas contain an increasing number of large retail stores and restaurants run by national chains. Others say the chain stores boost local shopping options for residents considerably, many of whom would have previously shopped elsewhere, while increasing sales tax revenue for the city and county. Still others note that the stores, restaurants, and businesses that remain in downtown are not necessarily in direct competition with the larger chain stores. The tradeoff between sprawl and economic development continues to be debated throughout the city and the surrounding area. (Another commercial centre, Collegetown, is located next to the Cornell campus. It features a number of restaurants, shops, and bars, and an increasing number of high rise apartments and is primarily frequented by Cornell University students.)

Ithaca has many of the businesses characteristic of small American university towns: used bookstores, art house cinemas, craft stores, and vegetarian restaurants. The collective Moosewood Restaurant, founded in 1973, was the wellspring for a number of vegetarian cookbooks; Bon Appetit magazine ranked it among the thirteen most influential restaurants of the twentieth century.

Source: BLS.gov

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 5.4% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Originally centered on quarrying and agriculturally-based industries, the economy of Sioux Falls has become greatly diversified and more service-based over the last half-century, making the city an important location for financial services, health care, and retail trade.

Partially due to the lack of a state corporate income tax, Sioux Falls is the home of a number of financial companies. The largest employer among these, and fourth largest employer overall, is Citigroup. Other important financial service companies located in Sioux Falls include Great Western Bank, Total Card Inc., Capital Card Services, HSBC, PREMIER Bankcard, and Wells Fargo.

Sioux Falls is a significant regional health care centre. There are four major hospitals in Sioux Falls: Sanford Health, Avera McKennan Hospital, the South Dakota Veterans Hospital, and the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota. Sanford Health and Avera Health are the largest and second largest employers in the city, respectively.

Because of the relatively long distances between Sioux Falls and larger cities, Sioux Falls has emerged as an important regional centre of shopping and dining. The Empire Mall, with over 180 stores, anchors one of the primary retail zones in the southwest section of the city. This area, centered mainly around the intersection of 41st Street and Louise Avenue, contains many large national chain stores and restaurants. Dawley Farm Village is a major commercial development that is being constructed for the east side of Sioux Falls. This major shopping district will be located at the intersection of Arrowhead Parkway (SD Highway 42) and Powder House Road (SD Highway 11). Downtown Sioux Falls is another important retail zone, offering more small, independent shops and restaurants than the Empire Mall area.

While no longer as economically dominant as it once was, the manufacturing and food processing sector remains an important component of the economy of Sioux Falls. The John Morrell meat packing plant is the third largest employer in the city. Other important manufacturing companies include Wheeler Tank Mfg, Maguire Iron, Amesbury Group, Teem, Raven Industries, Bell Incorporated, Tyco, and Gage Brothers.

Source: BLS.gov

Lawton, Oklahoma: 5.4% Unemployment Rate

Ames, Iowa: 5.4% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'Ames is home of Iowa State University of Science and Technology, a public land-grant and space-grant research university, and member of the prestigious American Association of Universities. At its founding in 1858, Iowa State was formerly known as the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Ames is the home of the closely allied U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease centre, the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory (a major materials research and development facility), and the main offices of the Iowa State Department of Transportation. State and Federal institutions are the largest employers in Ames. Other area employers include a 3M manufacturing plant; Sauer-Danfoss, a hydraulics manufacturer; Barilla, a pasta manufacturer; and Ball, a manufacturer of canning jars and plastic bottles.'

Source: BLS.gov

Grand Forks, North Dakota: 5.3% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'The economy of Grand Forks is not dominated by any one industry or sector. While agriculture continues to play a role in the area's economy, the city of Grand Forks now has a relatively diverse economy that includes public and private employers in sectors such as education, defence, health care, manufacturing, and food processing. The state and federal governments are two of the largest employers in the Grand Forks area. The University of North Dakota, located in the heart of the city, is the largest employer in the metropolitan area. Grand Forks Air Force Base, just west of the city, employs a large number of civilian workers in addition to its enlisted personnel. Altru Health System is the largest private employer in Grand Forks. Major manufacturers in Grand Forks include wind turbine manufacturer LM Glasfiber and small aircraft manufacturer Cirrus Design. Major food producers include potato processor J. R. Simplot Company and the state-owned North Dakota Mill and Elevator which is the largest flour mill in the United States. Amazon.com and SEI Information Technologies both operate call centres in Grand Forks. Other large private employers in the city include the locally owned Alerus Financial branch of banks, Home of Economy, and the locally owned Hugo's chain of supermarkets.

The retail and service sector is also an important part of the economy. The historic centre of shopping in Grand Forks was the downtown area. Today, downtown is home to small shops and restaurants and south Grand Forks has become the major retail district in the city. Grand Forks has three large shopping centres. The oldest, Grand Cities Mall, is located on South Washington Street and contains mainly small, locally owned stores as well as a Kmart. With about 80 stores, the area's largest indoor mall is Columbia Mall which is anchored by Macy's, Sears, J.C. Penney, and a large food court. The newest major shopping centre in the city is the Grand Forks Marketplace power centre mall which features SuperTarget, Best Buy, Lowe's, Gordmans, and several smaller stores. Depending on the relative strength of the Canadian dollar versus the American dollar, the Greater Grand Forks area attracts large numbers of tourist shoppers from Manitoba and especially from Winnipeg.'

Source: BLS.gov

Manhattan, Kansas: 5.2% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'Manhattan's economy is heavily based on governmentally-funded entities. Kansas State University is the largest employer in town, and its 23,000 students support the retail and entertainment venues in the city. The second-largest employer in Manhattan is the city school district. Additionally, nearby Fort Riley also brings in lots of retail business, although the majority of soldiers live either on post or in closer Junction City or Ogden.

Other large employers in Manhattan include the Mercy Regional Health centre and Farm Bureau.Manhattan also supports a small industrial base. Manufacturing and commercial businesses include: GTM Sportswear , Alorica , Auth-Florence Manufacturing, ICE Corporation , Manko Windows , The McCall Pattern Company and Farrar Corporation.Some, like GTM and Farrar have had success in the city -- as college towns are known to outlive and sustain economic recessions better than most towns due to their economic base.

In 2009, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced that it would locate the National Bio and Agro-defence Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, with construction scheduled to begin in 2010. The NBAF is scheduled to open in 2014, and will be a federal lab to research biological threats involving human, zoonotic (i.e., transmitted from animals to humans) and foreign animal diseases. It is expected to employ between 250--350 people, including researchers, technical support and operations specialists.'

Source: BLS.gov

Iowa City, Iowa: 5.1% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Source: BLS.gov

Lafayette, Louisiana: 5.0% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

' Lafayette serves as the retail hub of the five parish Acadiana area. One of the major retail areas in Lafayette is the Mall of Acadiana. The mall features department stores Macy's, Dillards, JC Penney, and Sears. It also includes over 100 specialty stores, such as Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Talbots, Chico's, Nine West, and Coldwater Creek. Other stores that have recently located in Lafayette include Kohl's, Incredible Pizza Co., and Plato's Closet. Academy Sports and Outdoors's Lafayette location is the largest discount store in the Academy chain.'

The Oil centre, downtown, and River Ranch offer a more specialised and unique shopping experience.'

Source: BLS.gov

Bismarck, North Dakota: 5.0% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'With over 4,300 employees, the state government of North Dakota is the largest employer in Bismarck. Bismarck's two major health care providers, St. Alexius Medical centre and Medcenter One Health Systems, together employ about 4,100 people. Other major employers in Bismarck include Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Coventry Health Care, Bismarck Public Schools, Midwest Motor Express, and the United States Federal Government.

Bismarck is the home of MDU Resources Group, which in 2009 was ranked number 473 on the Fortune 500 list.'

Source: BLS.gov

Lincoln, Nebraska: 4.9% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'Lincoln's economy is fairly typical of a mid-sized American city; most economic activity is derived from service industries. The state government and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are both large contributors to the local economy. Other prominent industries in Lincoln include medical, banking, information technology, education, call centres, insurance (such as Allstate Insurance subsidiary Lincoln Benefit Life), and rail and truck transport.

One of the largest employers is the BryanLGH Medical centre which consists of two major hospitals and several large outpatient facilities located across the city. Healthcare and medical jobs account for a substantial portion of Lincoln's employment: as of 2009, full-time healthcare employees in the city included 9,010 healthcare pracitioners in technical occupations, 4,610 workers in healthcare support positions, 780 licensed and vocational nurses, and 150 medical and clinical laboratory technicians.'

Source: BLS.gov

Fargo, North Dakota: 4.9% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

'The economy of the Fargo area has historically been dependent on agriculture. That dominance has decreased substantially in recent decades. Now, the city of Fargo has a growing economy based on food processing, manufacturing, technology, retail trade, higher education, and healthcare. The largest non-governmental employers in the city include MeritCare, Innovis Health, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, US Bank, and Microsoft. North Dakota State University is the largest public sector employer in the city. In a study published by Forbes, Fargo was ranked the 7th best small city in the nation to start a business or a career.'

Source: BLS.gov

Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana: 4.6% Unemployment Rate

This metropolitan area covering two parishes has industry centered in retail and agriculture.

Source: BLS.gov

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