Posted by: CJ | May 17, 2009

Forbes listing

I wouldn’t take Forbes magazine advice on a lot of things, but in a recent issue they had a listing of the worst cities for jobs. In fact, they made the list for each of big, medium, and small cities. However, the lists were put into REALLY ANNOYING slideshows. I hate that. So I’m doing a public service and just putting the lists here. (Remember, the higher the rating the worse the city is for jobs.)

The lists are long, so I’m putting them below the fold.

Big Cities

  1. Detriot-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.
  2. Providence-Fall River-Warwich, R.I.
  3. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio
  4. Santa Anna-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.
  5. Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif.
  6. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla.
  7. Sacramento-Arden Arcase-Roseville, Calif.
  8. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
  10. Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, Calif.

Medium Cities

  1. Toledo, Ohio
  2. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C.
  3. Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Fla.
  4. Dayton, Ohio
  5. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  6. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio/Penn.
  7. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
  8. Reno-Sparks, Nev.
  9. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.
  10. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.

Small Cities

  1. Jackson, Mich.
  2. Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, Mich.
  3. Flint, Mich.
  4. Battle Creek, Mich.
  5. Dalton, Georgia
  6. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
  7. Redding, Calif.
  8. Muskegon-Norton Shores, Mich.
  9. Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.
  10. Anderson, S.C.

Forbes also had a listing of the best cities for jobs, which I’ll post here for comparison.(So this time lower number rankings are better.)

Big Cities

  1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  2. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
  3. San Antonio, Texas
  4. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  5. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
  6. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
  7. Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
  9. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  10. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Oregon & Wash.

Mid-sized Cities

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
  2. Tulsa, Okla.
  3. Lafayette, La.
  4. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
  5. Kansas City, Kan.
  6. Corpus Christi, Texas
  7. Baton Rouge, La.
  8. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
  9. Anchorage, Alaska
  10. Mobile, Ala.

Small Cities

  1. Odessa, Texas
  2. Grand Junction, Colo.
  3. Longview, Texas
  4. Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La.
  5. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas
  6. Laredo, Texas
  7. Athens-Clarke County, Va.
  8. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash.
  9. Morgantown, W. Va.
  10. College Station-Bryan, Texas

So I have some commentary on the lists. I don’t particularly value any individual ranking because the individual rankings from a magazine like Forbes are crap. I also suspect that there are some overall biases in the rankings, because I have a very hard time believing the South, particularly Texas and Louisiana, are doing as well as the rankings suggest. (It’s also worth noting that Forbes counted industries that are natural resources based, and thus that I have a hard time counting as part of a city’s real economic value. Industries like that have horrible track records of being managed for long-term growth, and tend to disappear after a generation or two. And those industries counted for a lot of the strength in the South, particularly Texas.)

However, I have no problem believing that the areas of the midwest they name are doing poorly. Essentially Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio are taking a concentrated beating. There are other areas, particularly parts of California, which are also taking a beating, but California has other industries. (Though it’s governance is horrible.) Unfortunately Michigan and surrounding areas are not so lucky; they haven’t been in good economic shape for awhile.

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