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Great cities for job seekers

By Meg Donohue
CareerBuilder.com
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(CareerBuilder.com) -- The harsh truth of job-hunting is that in some cities, no matter how hard you look, there just aren't enough jobs to go around. Since a low unemployment rate is an indication of a city with a proportionate number of jobs for its population, it stands to reason that cities with minimal unemployment rates represent promising economic environments for job-seekers.

The 15 cities in this list have unemployment rates well below the national average (4.5 percent in November 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). To create a comprehensive portrait of the employment conditions of each area, we've also included the mean annual wage as well as the most prevalent local industries and occupations. Local chamber of commerce and tourism Web sites are additional resources for job-seekers interested in learning more about a specific location.

1. Fargo, North Dakotaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 1.5 percent *
Mean annual wage: $32,580*
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (22.8 percent)**
Predominant occupation: 33.4 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations**

2. Bismarck, North Dakotaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 1.9 percent
Mean annual wage: $31,580
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining (32.7 percent)
Predominant occupation: 38.2 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

3. Logan, Utahexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.2 percent
Mean annual wage: $29,520
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (29.1 percent)
Predominant occupation: 32.7 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

4. St. George, Utahexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.2 percent
Mean annual wage: $29,770
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (18.1 percent)
Predominant occupation: 29.2 percent of workers are employed in sales and office occupations

5. Ames, Iowaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.3 percent
Mean annual wage: $36,050
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (39.1 percent)
Predominant occupation: 47.3 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

6. Idaho Falls, Idahoexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.3 percent
Mean annual wage: $32,970
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management services (19 percent) Predominant occupation: 37.9 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

7. Billings, Montanaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent
Mean annual wage: $31,290
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (21.4 percent)
Predominant occupation: 31.9 percent of workers are employed in sales and office occupations

8. Charlottesville, Virginiaexternal link
Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent
Mean annual wage: $38,490
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (39.3 percent)
Predominant occupation: 44 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

9. Iowa City, Iowaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent
Mean annual wage: $32,530
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (44.3 percent)
Predominant occupation: 43.6 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

10. Provo-Orem, Utahexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent
Mean annual wage: $38,490
Industry with largest percentage of workforce (Provo): Educational, health and social services (32.7 percent)
Predominant occupation (Provo): 38.3 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

11. Sioux City, South Dakotaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent
Mean annual wage: $31,340
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (19.8 percent)
Predominant occupation:</i> 33.2 percent of workers are employed in sales and office occupations

12. Boise City-Nampa, Idahoexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
Mean annual wage: $35,330
Industry with largest percentage of workforce (Boise City): Educational, health and social services (17.8 percent)
Predominant occupation (Boise City): 38.8 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

13. Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, Floridaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
Mean annual wage: $32,430
Industry with largest percentage of workforce (Fort Walton Beach): Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services (15.7 percent)
Predominant occupation (Fort Walton Beach): 30.3 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

14. Huntsville, Alabamaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
Mean annual wage: $39,540
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (19.7 percent)
Predominant occupation: 44.3 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

15. Lincoln, Nebraskaexternal link

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
Mean annual wage: $34,020
Industry with largest percentage of workforce: Educational, health and social services (24 percent)
Predominant occupation: 36 percent of workers are employed in management, professional and related occupations

* Unemployment rates and annual wages obtained from BLS in September 2006.
** Industry percentages and predominant occupations obtained from 2000 census.


© Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority


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