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Thursday, June 14, 2012

From San Antonio To Raleigh — Some Cities Are Hiring

Blake Andrews with Verizon, left, visits with prospective employees during a job fair, in San Antonio. (AP)

American mayors are worried that the gridlock in Washington will bring Main Street to a screeching halt.

At their annual meeting this year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is calling on Congress to keep federal dollars flowing to cities for transportation projects, port infrastructure, technology and workforce training.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is also worried that if lawmakers don’t agree on a debt reduction package this year then automatic cuts would kick in that would slash 350,000 defense jobs.

The annual conference of nearly 200 mayors is in Orlando, Fla., which Kiplinger recently named one of eight high job growth cities.

Phoenix, Ariz. is also on the list. That city was ground zero for the housing crisis, and just two years ago it had an unemployment rate of 12.2 percent. Now unemployment is down to 6.6 percent and job growth is pegged at 8 to 10 percent.

The magazine zeroed in on cities with more than one million people, with expected job growth over five years higher than the national average of 7 percent.

“Some of these cities had roots in large universities, elite research institutions, others had ties to the energy industry,” John Maggs, senior economics editor at Kiplinger told Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “That’s a theme that comes out on this list. Energy will play an important part in job creation, at least in the next five years.”

Kiplinger’s list:

  • Phoenix – Inexpensive real estate and distribution of lower-end electronic offering 100,000 to 150,000 jobs within this area
  • Oklahoma City – Home to large gas firms and energy services where 10 to 12 percent of job growth within the next five years is anticipated
  • Raleigh – Offers a variety of jobs within the health finances, bio-tech, and government industry
  • San Antonio – Is the center of Texas’ energy sector which provides inexpensive housing and an abundant amount of commercial space
  • Orlando – Health care is rapidly growing, creating an array of professional, transportation, sales and personal service jobs
  • Portland – Fueled by the tech mini-boom and the area’s attractiveness to young people this location has the ability to supply 130,000 jobs
  • Nashville – Job growth within the next five years is expected to rise 18 percent due to the variety of heath care, education and service jobs available
  • Atlanta – Provides size and diversity while 180,00 new jobs are accessible


  • John Maggs, senior economics editor at Kiplinger

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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