Current Issue
This Month's Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

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?