Getting a job in this slow recovery may require something not many people want to contemplate: packing up and moving to a new city.
PHOTO GALLERY: See the Top 10 Cities Here
In recent years, relocating has been particularly tough due to many Americans being trapped in underwater mortgages or in homes that won’t sell. Yet whether it’s for a stronger job market or better weather, migration is still happening and some parts of the country are attracting more transplants than others. Patterns of growth have shifted dramatically because of the recession, and none of the ten counties that grew fastest from 2000 to 2010 made the recent list of the fastest-growing counties. While former boom areas, especially the outer suburbs, have collapsed, cities and inner suburbs have grown.
Cities and inner suburbs that are attracting businesses are generally also bringing in residents at the fastest clip. Jobs in health care, education, high-tech, and those related to government and the military all drove significant population growth in the fastest-growing metro areas in 2010−2011.
Geographically, jobs are moving down and to the left—the fastest-growing cities in 2010 and 2011 were all in the South and West. In fact, six out of the ten fastest-growing metro areas were in just three states: Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. The remaining four were out West or elsewhere in the South, with two of them on the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s no statistical accident—the Census Bureau says that 46 of the 50 fastest-growing metros from 2010 to 2011 were located either entirely or partially in the South or West.