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Friday, May 05, 2006
Top Cities to Do Biz
Forbes Magazine announced yesterday the top cities for business in the US. The top five were:

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Raleigh, NC
Houston, TX
Boise, ID
Knoxville, TN

With the exception of Boise, all these are located either in the south or southwest. Sort the metro areas by job growth and you come up with the top three all in Florida – Cape Coral, Naples, and Port St. Lucie. In fact, Florida beats out the competition in the top twenty cities for job growth, garnering ten of the 20 spots. In the top ten, only two are not in the south or southwest – Las Vegas, Nevada and Riverside, California.

Judging from this study and just from the responses we hear from our clients, a good portion of the job seekers seem to be looking to warmer climates for their next job. Not only warmer climates, but lower costs of living may well be gaining favor with job seekers. Gas prices, housing costs, tax burdens – all are factors considered when looking for a new job and the southern states offer better options on all these factors.

Personally, I have knowledge of the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Knoxville offers a lot of great quality of living factors. It is nestled within twenty miles of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which offers all kinds of recreational options from hiking and camping to llama treks to some of the best trout fishing in the nation. Knoxville is also within a short distance of several lakes formed by the Tennessee River so water sports abound.

Like the other cities on the list, Knoxville is a university town serving as home to the University of Tennessee. Brain power abounds in the area, too, with the close proximity of the Oak Ridge National Lab. The university and the lab have given rise to many, many high tech and scientific sub-industries in the area that find the low tax rates, low cost of real estate, and educated population a perfect combination for industry. Knoxville is also home to HGTV and Jewelry TV, two of the more prominent of the media industry that is growing rapidly in the Knoxville area.

What is attracting job seekers and businesses to the southern and southwestern states besides lower costs of living? Many job seekers state the slower pace of life is attractive and the culture of the southern region of the country holds merit. After 9/11, many people took a closer look at their life goals and their lifestyles and rearranged their priorities. The cultural aspects of the southern states now hold a greater attraction than before for those seeking to escape the rat race to some extent and enjoy life more. The climate allows for more time outside in pursuit of recreational activities and that is attractive to many.

Most job seekers with whom we deal have specific geographic areas in mind for their next job, whether it is to stay where they are or move to a specific region/city. Some note family as main reasons for their preferences and many note housing prices. When you are considering a relocation for a job, make sure you consider all the aspects of the new area. Gas prices and commute distance have a direct impact now on budgets. Quality of schools, cost of housing, and climate all affect lifestyle. Don’t just look at benefit packages and salary when considering a new job.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 /


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