Boom Town, Soon Town

Another interesting comparative read is Business 2.0's March feature on the next boom towns (access code: B2MAR3140) — "America's 20 hottest job markets" — and Inc.'s March feature on the top 25 cities for doing business in America.

Let's start by looking at Business 2.0's top picks:

  • Raleigh-Durham, NC
  • San Jose, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Austin, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  • Middlesex-Somerset, NJ
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boston, MA

And now, Inc.'s list of the worst metro areas:

  • San Jose
  • Grand Rapids
  • Greenville-Spartanburg
  • Dayton
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • New York City
  • San Francisco
  • Portland
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia

Why the discrepency? Sure, the lists don't totally overlap, but how can Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Boston be the best and worst at the same time? Maybe it's because the next boom towns aren't booming now. Inc's listing was based on three-month rolling averages of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics state and area unadjusted employment data reported from January 1993 to September 2003. Seems like a pretty respectable gauge of job creation.

Business 2.0's numbers also drew on solid stats. But they weren't just looking at job growth — they were looking at communities that attract and retain employees in the creative class. And they extrapolated growth through 2008 instead of looking at current performance.

I need to give both features deeper reads, but it's interesting how this struck me. Who do you believe?

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  • Marc

    I agree with Mean Dean, the area does appear to desire local candidates or requires good contacts. I have found it difficult to get even the whisper of a response on my resume.

    I too am trying to leave the DC Metro rat race! Hopefully it does boom, so in the next 10-15 years I can cash out like I did in the DC Metro area and retire!!!!!

  • Mean Dean

    Well I hope Raleigh-Durham booms ... I've been wanting to relocate there, but I've found there is a bit of reticence among employers to bring technical talent in from other parts of the Country.

    Go visit and see how many job ads end with "sorry, local candidates only."

    That and the fact that the area is still in a "contract to perm" mode where perm means temp. employees suffering a permanent string of contracts. At least, that's what some of my IT neighbors trying to escape Maryland are dealing with.

  • Anonymous Coward

    I'd be interested in feedback from readers who live in these areas. Are the job markets growing and developing? Are they attractive from a location standpoint? etc...