Where the Jobs Will Be in 2010

Regions across the U.S. will see job growth in the first quarter of 2010. But the growth will be sporadic and many areas will continue to lag

By Prashant Gopal

jobsThe recession might be technically over, but unemployment is rising month after month even in most of the nation's strongest job markets.

A full-fledged job recovery seems to be a long way away. But some metros are poised for significant job growth by the first quarter of next year. BusinessWeek.com teamed up with Moody's Economy.com to identify America's 25 next recovering job markets. These metros were ranked based on Economy.com's projected job growth in the first three months of 2010.


Top 10 Cities

1. Mount Vernon, Wash.

2. Huntsville, Ala.

3. McAllen, Tex.

4. Brownsville, Tex.

5. Auburn, Ala.

6. Lawrence, Kan.

7. Dallas, Tex.

8. Laredo, Tex.

9. Las Cruces, N.M.

10. Billings, Mont.
Topping the list is Mount Vernon, Wash., a small town about 60 miles north of Seattle with just 48,000 workers. The town, which lost jobs quickly during the recession, could see a rebound, in part because tourism, retail, and hospitality will make a comeback as the economy improves. Additionally, the weak dollar will provide a boost to communities with international trading ports and metros that border Mexico, such as Brownsville, Tex. (a port town that is No. 4 on our list), and border town McCallen, Tex. (No. 3). Our list was also packed with towns that are closely linked to the energy industry (Billings, Mont., Houston, Tex., and Farmington, N.M.), college towns (College Station, Tex., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Auburn, Ala., and Lawrence, Kan.), and military towns (Columbus, Ga., Augusta, Ga., and Texarkana, Tex.).

None of the metros on the list experienced a housing bubble that had a disastrous pop. Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Stockton, Calif., will likely be in a funk long after many Texas metros are in growth mode.

"These are areas that had little or no housing cycle and stand to benefit from the renewed firmness in commodity prices," said Chris Lefakis, an economist at Moody's Economy.com. "This could be an export-lead recovery with the replenishment of inventory leading to a resurgence in manufacturing."

Room for Growth in Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector has taken such a battering that it has a lot of room for improvement. Inventories have fallen to such low levels that manufacturers will have to increase production even to keep up with existing demand, Lefakis said.

A plant opening or just expanding can have a magnified impact on a small metro, giving a swift boost to the job market, said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pa. But job growth elsewhere mostly will be slow and incremental, he said. Companies will be cautious about hiring and will expand overtime hours and bring on temporary workers before making permanent hires.


The good news is that overtime pay and the increase in temp workers will push up wages nationwide, which could result in more consumer spending, he said.

"If the economy begins to grow, it will be enough [for companies] to add slowly to payroll," Naroff said. "I'm not expecting a vigorous upturn."

Travel, hospitality, and retail could see more dramatic growth. Throughout the recession, Americans have cut down on travel, eating out, and shopping. If the economy improves, they'll add more entertainment to their budgets, he said.

"People might not go to Disney World," said Naroff. "But they might start going out to dinner once week."

New York City, which didn't make our list, could also have a great year, especially now that Wall Street is giving out bonuses "like 2008 never existed," he added.

The federal government will also play a key role in the recovery even as it begins to phase out tax incentives and other economic stimulus spending, Moody's Economy.com Chief Economist Mark Zandi said on CNBC Nov. 3.

"Without the government, the consumer would be pulling back," Zandi said. "By early next year job losses will abate ... so we will start to see wage and salary growth and government can begin to pass that baton off [to the private sector]. But it will be a tricky handoff."

Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

See Also:
Gopal writes about real estate for BusinessWeek in New York.

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gadjitman

ANY PRES THAT WAS STONEWALLED THE WAY OHBAHMA IS WOULD GET JUST AS MUCH DONE ? ARE YOU PEOPLE THAT STUPID REALY ? THE POLITICIANS DIDNT WANT HIM IN / THE PEOPLE DID ? THATS THE PROBLEM ... THE VOTES OVER ? SO WHY NOT HELP HIM GET SOMETHING DONE TILL THE NEXT ELECTION ? INSTED OF STAMPING YOUR CHILDESH FEET AND STARTING YOUR CAMP. FOR NEXT ELECTION NOW ? STOP NIT PICKING ON EVERYTHING ? GREAT AMERICA ? I WOULDNT WANT TO LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE EITHER / AND WOULD DEFEND THIS COUNTRY TO THE DEATH ! BUT WE CAN DO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS ? SOME HUMILITY WOULD HELP ? AND NOT LOOKING DOWN OUR NOSES AT OTHER COUNTRIES WOULDNT BE BAD ? DONT BE SO SURE THAT THIS COUNTRIES FUTURE IS SUCH A SURE BET ??? ROME AND OTHER GREAT / POWERFUL NATIONS DID ? AND THEY DIED FROM THE INSIDE OUT ? THIS NATION CAN BE GREAT FOR A MUCH LONGER TIME IF WE WANT TO ? STOP THE BICKERING AND AGREE TO DISSAGREE BUT HELP THE PEOPLE THAT NEED HELP NOT JUST THE ONES WHO CAN PAY FOR IT ? WE CAN BE ONE OF THE GREATEST NATIONS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR WORLD, IF WE CAN REMAIN HUMBLE AT HEART ???? THANK YOU MY FRIENDS , AND WITH MUCH LOVE . JPD {please excuse my spelling ? thank you .}

November 19 2009 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gadjitman's comment
Carmarger

Obama is just a mere 'Front' for some more powerful person and/or group, somewhere. I'm just waiting to see who or what it is. Obama himself is nothing. Wait And See.

December 27 2009 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
STEPHANIE

MOST PEOPLE IN TEXAS KNOWS THAT THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO THE BORDER THE HIGHER RISK FOR KIDNAPPINGS. I KNOW HISPANICS WHO WILL NOT DRIVE DOWN TO THE BORDER.

November 19 2009 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
helena

It sounds great...I wouldn't mind giving up my day job...at the Post Office...for this type of opportunity..but my question? Is this stable income?

November 19 2009 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anne

I want to know what study lists Texas public schools as 48th. I don't believe that.

November 19 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

ALL YOU WORK AT HOME SCAMMERS NEED TO JUST STOP IT. GIVE IT UP! NOBODY IS BUYING INTO YOUR SCAMS ANYMORE. GET A LIFE AND GET A REAL JOB!!!

LOSERS.

November 19 2009 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
patriot1776

Wake up, America !!!

Your Congress is out of control with more and more spending coupled with more and more taxes while taking away personal freedoms established by our Constitution.

Get informed.

Research what is happening in Washington.

Contact your Congressman and let him / her know how you feel.

Get involved !!

November 19 2009 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ladies man

Wishing everyone here a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have lots to be thankful for this year. If it's the economy bothering you, don't worry. There are blue skies ahead but not till next year when our Republicans take over congress and get things done!!! Look Ms Pelosi aint doing anything. Obama just got back from his "asian vacation". Came out in the papers today his "vacation" served NO PURPOSE. He bowed to Japan emperor???? WHY??????? THEY ARE JAPAN BUT WE ARE THE U.S.A.!!! THAT WAS WRONG.

November 19 2009 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bob

yea thats right, more jobs are coming, you would have to be smoking crack to think more jobs are coming back to this country. northeast ohio where I live has been bleeding jobs since the late seventies, before then, we ruled the world in good jobs, now there is nothing left but fast food, box stores, and govt. jobs. and we have all of those that we will ever need, every time we lost an industry, the local politicians, the state politicians, the federal politicians all of them, dems and reps, said they would be replaced by newer, high tech, or green jobs, and every time we were suckered as they never were replaced by anything. until I see big, colossal, 1950's or 1960's style new buildings in which to work, like factories, office buildings, govt buildings, steel plants, auto plants, etc. etc. etc. I will not beleive anything from any politician or public official, they sold us and our livelihoods down the river to the third world countries. and if I hear one more person from another country say we should give more to the humanitarian causes of the world I'll scream. we already them everything we had, our jobs.

November 19 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bob's comment
Zippy

i agree with you, man. it's really sad what our leaders have done to us. they are all still rich and cozy, though. and that's all they care about. hire cheap labor overseas, and screw over your own people. so f-ing sad.

November 21 2009 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ladies man

It's OK !! I'll stay here in Sunny SOuth Florida and weather out this Storm. Billings Montana? I'll enjoy 70 and sunny in December in SOuth Florida and you enjoy -70 in Montana

November 19 2009 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clarke Ammerman

let's see--the jobs will be in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan. Everywhere but here, thanks to , Guess Who. the Congress, vote 'em all out 2010, every last one the lyin' lawyers

November 19 2009 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clarke Ammerman's comment
Zippy

what are you talking about? the policies that lead to the job exodus have been in place for decades...and have been crafted by both sides of the partisan line! it's not just the current congress or the one before that. it's a multitude of congresses, presidents, business leaders, etc. and americans have been so easily brainwashed into thinking all this globalization is oh-so-wonderful. all it's done is ship jobs overseas, let in illegals, and level the standard of living between us and those we are being so globally connected with (which means our level goes down while their's go up). only reason our standard is still somewhat high was due to easy availability of credit and even that's gone. looks like we're going to be in some rough times ahead. brace yourselves...or, as you say, move to china.

November 21 2009 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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