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article imageHead West, North, East and South, but steer clear of NYC for jobs

By Joan Firstenberg     Apr 20, 2009 in Business
Used to be that the Big Apple was a magnet for job seekers from around the world. No more. The recession has brought some new players into the game...cities and states that are not doing badly, and offer employment.
Times are such that New York City, the jobs capital, now leads the nation in job losses. Expectations are that it could lose 181,000 jobs next year, more than any other city in the U.S. But a new Forbes report shows that there are jobs to be had, just not in the Big Apple. You might have to travel to get gainful employment.
Ajilon Professional Staffing examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Metropolitan Area Jobs Report to uncover the cities with the lowest unemployment rate and highest number of new jobs created in the past six months. They then combined that data with other evidence from their own research.
This is Forbes' ten best cities for jobs in 2009 list:
1. Madison, Wisconsin
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
4. Richmond, Virginia
5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
7. Baltimore, Maryland
8. Seattle, Washingon
9. Houston, Texas
10.Dallas, Texas
Why does Madison, Wisconsin come out on top? For starters, the University of Madison is a huge employer, and in a time when people are going back to school in droves, that certainly helps. Madison has several things going for it. Not only is the University of Wisconsin a major employer, but the university's research arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, has been fueling growth in the biotech, health care and medical-devices industries. The foundation provides grants and helps scientists affiliated with the university to patent new discoveries. It has aided Madison in becoming a regional hub for those industries.
In Washington, D.C., the government is the town's largest employer. After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many jobs were created.
Baltimore, like D.C., has a plethora of government jobs.
Boston has a bunch of hospitals and universities that bolster that city's economy. They also provide a ready-made highly educated workforce, which draws a growing number of biotech, software and clean technology companies to the city. And Boston's financial sector wasn't hit as hard by the subprime mortgage crisis as New York's. The city lost about 900 financial industry jobs; New York gave up thousands. Boston is home mostly to deposit banks, hedge funds and trust services, which were able to avoid many of the problems that plagued the large financial institutions in New York.
Used to be that Pittsburgh was viewed as an old steel and manufacturing city. But now, it's biggest bright spot is health care. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center employs more than 40,000 people. Health care is a very strong industry in Pittsburgh, and technology, education and banking are all robust there too.
The bottom two on the list, Houston and Dallas, both in Texas, have some extra jobs thanks to a healthy energy industry
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