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Best and Worst Cities for Job Growth
Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor
Copyright CareerBuilder, LLC -- reprinted with permission
The best...

Florida isn't just for vacationers and retirees anymore. It seems the Sunshine State is also a hub for employers and businesses eager to expand and hire more workers. 

Forbes.com recently released its annual list of the 200 Best Places for Businesses and Careers, and, among those places, five Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for U.S. cities with the highest job growth. Cape Coral, Fla. held the top spot for cities with the highest job growth. Las Vegas, Nev. ranked second, followed by Naples, Fla. and Sarasota, Fla. McAllen, Tex. rounded out the top five. 

If you need a change of scenery and are thinking about relocating in the next few years, consider one of the following 10 cities, which are projected to have the highest job growth this year, as reported by Forbes.com and based on five-year projections from Economy.com.

Cape Coral, Fla.
Population: 562,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary*:

  • Registered nurses -- $44,561
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,772
  • Accountants and auditors -- $41,609

    Jobs more common to Cape Coral than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Helpers/roofers -- $19,634
  • Athletes and sports competitors -- $15,496
  • Construction managers -- $55,752

    Las Vegas, Nev.
    Population: 1,777,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Elementary school teachers -- $29,318
  • Registered nurses -- $51,869
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $49,474

    Jobs more common to Las Vegas than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Gaming supervisors -- $22,624
  • Gaming change persons and booth cashiers -- $23,016
  • Gaming service workers -- $12,879

    Naples, Fla.
    Population: 317,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $47,015
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $52,641
  • Accountants and auditors -- $41,363

    Jobs more common to Naples than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Construction managers -- $67,005
  • Helpers -- painters, plasterers, paperhangers and stucco masons -- $19,753
  • Tile and marble setters -- $30,447

    Sarasota, Fla.
    Population: 689,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $43,211
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,643
  • Accountants and auditors -- $39,408

    Jobs more common to Sarasota than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Fence erectors -- $24,917
  • Financial managers -- $75,189
  • Motorboat mechanics -- $27,961

    McAllen, Tex.
    Population: 697,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Elementary school teachers -- $36,246
  • Registered nurses -- $47,115
  • Secondary school teachers -- $39,915

    Jobs more common to McAllen than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Personal and home care aids -- $16,142
  • Oil, gas and mining service unit operators -- $29,877
  • Agricultural products graders and sorters -- $12,472

    Port St. Lucie, Fla.
    Population: 391,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $46,074
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $39,025
  • Accountants and auditors -- $43,736

    Jobs more common to Port St. Lucie than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Helpers -- painters, paperhangers, plasterers and stucco masons -- $25,097
  • Helpers -- roofers -- $18,240
  • Roofers -- $24,463

    Riverside, Calif.
    Population: 4,017,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Elementary school teachers -- $48,696
  • Registered nurses -- $58,573
  • Secondary school teachers -- $50,286

    Jobs more common to Riverside than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Terazzo workers and finishers -- $32,930
  • Slot key persons -- $13,343
  • Automotive glass installers and repairers -- $42,514

    Fayetteville, Ark.
    Population: 417,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $41,669
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,358
  • Elementary school teachers -- $36,306

    Jobs more common to Fayetteville than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Meat, poultry and fish cutters and trimmers -- $17,975
  • Agricultural inspectors -- $27,180
  • Purchasing managers -- $54,734

    Ocala, Fla.
    Population: 311,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $44,557
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,782
  • Loan officers -- $36,586

    Jobs more common to Ocala than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Recreational vehicle service technicians -- $28,633
  • Farmworkers, farm and ranch hands -- $17,963
  • Nonfarm animal caretakers -- $17,209

    Phoenix, Ariz.
    Population: 3,976,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Elementary school teachers -- $29,399
  • Registered nurses -- $50,755
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,028

    Jobs more common to Phoenix than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Aircraft structure surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers -- $35,324
  • Gaming and surveillance officers and gaming investigators -- $22,074
  • Umpires, referees and other sports officials -- $50,326



  • The worst...

    Your heart may be in San Francisco, but your best chances of finding a new job in the coming years are probably elsewhere.   

    For its annual "Best Places for Businesses and Careers" list, Forbes.com ranked 200 United States metropolitan cities based on the accumulated factors of job growth, cost of doing business, educational attainment, living costs and crime rates.  Although San Francisco ranked high among cities with the number of adult inhabitants with a college degree, it came in at a dismal No. 175 overall and an even more dismal No. 197 for places with high job growth.

    Still, in terms of job growth, the home to Rice-A-Roni performed better than Hickory, N.C., San Jose, Calif. and New Orleans, La., the city with the smallest job growth on Forbes.com's list.

    According to Forbes, the following metro areas are top 10 places where U.S. job growth is smallest.  If you are looking for and are having trouble finding work in one of these places, it may be that the supply of job candidates outnumbers the demand for workers.

    New Orleans, La.
    Population**: 913,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary*:

  • Registered nurses -- $50,496

  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $37,236
  • Elementary school teachers -- $34,374

    Jobs more common near New Orleans than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Pump operators -- $38,149
  • Sailors and marine oilers -- $27,807
  • Bridge and lock tenders -- $25,469

    San Jose, Calif.
    Population: 1,774,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Computer applications software engineers -- $78,822
  • Computer systems software engineers -- $88,659
  • Registered nurses -- $79,649

    Jobs more common near San Jose than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Semiconductor processors -- $34,169
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons -- $186,196
  • Computer hardware engineers -- $88,163

    Hickory, N.C.
    Population: 358,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $45,244
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,338
  • Elementary school teachers -- $32,390

    Jobs more common near Hickory than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Wood model makers -- $24,799
  • Wood patternmakers -- $25,750
  • Upholsterers -- $34,240

    San Francisco, Calif.
    Population: 1,692,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $71,408
  • Accountants and auditors -- $51,435
  • Computer applications software engineers --$70,426

    Jobs more common near San Francisco than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Mathematical scientists -- $69,664
  • Graduate teaching assistants -- $26,324
  • Biochemists and biophysicists -- $76,807

    Detroit, Mich.
    Population: 1,977,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $53,194
  • Elementary school teachers -- $50,238
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $54,024

    Jobs more common near Detroit than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners --$24,689
  • Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators and tenders -- $45,476
  • Power plant operators -- $55,733

    Cambridge, Mass.
    Population: 1,471,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $65,598
  • Accountants and auditor -- $47,239
  • Computer applications software engineers -- $69,912

    Jobs more common near the Cambridge area than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Nuclear technicians -- $55,952
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons -- $193,462
  • Atmospheric and space scientists -- $62,651

    Flint, Mich.
    Population: 444,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $48,594
  • Elementary school teachers -- $50,475
  • Secondary school teachers -- $48,177

    Jobs more common near Flint than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Postsecondary teachers -- $60,113
  • Education, training and library workers -- $51,530
  • Elementary and secondary education administrators -- $71,703

    Binghamton, N.Y.
    Population: 248,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $41,437
  • Secondary school teachers -- $40,957
  • Elementary school teachers -- $36,611

    Jobs more common near Binghamton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Coil winders, tapers and finishers -- $16,525
  • Judges and magistrates -- $70,856
  • Legislators -- $102,050

    Canton, Ohio
    Population: 411,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $47,910
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $41,607
  • Secondary school teachers -- $45,051

    Jobs more common near Canton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Metal and plastic forging machine operators -- $45,255
  • Welding operators -- $27,655
  • Heat treating equipment operators -- $23,888

    Dayton, Ohio
    Population: 846,000
    Most popular jobs and average local salary:
  • Registered nurses -- $45,867
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,827
  • Secondary school teachers -- $44,184

    Jobs more common near Dayton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
  • Metal and plastic workers -- $32,182
  • Materials engineers -- $76,952
  • Postsecondary engineering teachers -- $50,824



  • *Salary information provided by CBsalary.com. All other data from Forbes.com and CityTownInfo.com.
    **Population numbers based on metro area.

    This article has been reprinted with permission from CareerBuilder.com.