1. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA: Up 4.3%
This remote area of Washington is home to a decommissioned nuclear facility that’s been the target of the nation’s largest environmental cleanup. The project attracted nearly $2 billion in federal stimulus money and about 3,000 contract jobs. The area is also home to three hospitals—one local CEO predicts that health care spending in the region will continue to increase, which will further bump up the number of health care-sector jobs. And the three cities draw tourists, who spend about $350 million each year there, including $48 million in retail and $118 million at restaurants.