Forbes’ best cities for good jobs

File:USA 2008 unemployment by county.svg

We didn’t want to rank cities on raw job growth alone, since that would overweight areas that are rebounding from severe economic slumps. We also didn’t want to select cities that are adding lots of low-wage jobs. The McAllen-Edinburgh region of south Texas ranked fifth on job growth, for example, but has per-capita income of less than $20,000 a year, compared with a national average of $37,000. (Life’s a lot cheaper in McAllen, but we will leave that to the quality-of-life surveys.)

We then ranked the cities for each of six categories, with the following weights.

  • 2011 unemployment rate: 5%.
  • Current unemployment rate: 20%.
  • Estimated 2013 employment growth: 20%.
  • 5-year estimated employment growth: 25%.
  • Current per-capita income: 15%.
  • Estimated 5-year income growth: 15%.

There are lots of different ways to rate cities, but this matrix is designed to capture the cities with the best combination of low unemployment, high wages, and high expected job growth.

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