For a change of pace from all the doom and gloom hype coming out of Washington, DC let’s look at a little bit of information about unemployment rates as released by the Bureau of Labor. Where jobs can be found is also where the private sector is flourishing. Where jobs can’t be is where they are counting on the public sector and tourism to come to the rescue.
5 Places where people can find a job
- Midland, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.1% rate of unemployment Mike Conaway-R R+29 PVI Midland’s economy relies heavily on petroleum; however, the city has also diversified to become a regional telecommunications and distribution center. By August 2006, a busy period of crude oil production had caused a significant workforce deficit. According to the Midland Chamber of Commerce, at that time there were almost 2,000 more jobs available in the Permian Basin than there were workers to fill them.
- Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.3% rate of unemployment Kevin Cramer-R R+10 PVI Bismarck is booming. Behind the growth is the oil boom to the west of the state fueling the economy. Farmers are doing well here. Manufacturing is also up — meat plants and factories that make heaters are hiring.
- Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.4% rate of unemployment Jeff Fortenberry-R R+11 PVI Agriculture has historically been the backbone of Nebraska’s economy, with cattle, corn, hogs, and soybeans leading the state’s list of farm products. However, Nebraska is attempting to diversify its economy and has been successful in attracting new business, in large part because of its location near western coal and oil deposits. The largest portion of the state’s labor force is employed in agriculture, either directly or indirectly—as farm workers, as factory workers in the food-processing and farm-equipment industries, or as providers of related services. The service sector, which includes not only the servicing of equipment but also the high growth areas of health and business services and telemarketing, expanded at an annual rate of 4.4 percent.
- Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.6% rate of unemployment Steve King-R R+4 PVI Ames is the home of Iowa State University, which employs 9,000, and there are lots of biotech and agriculture jobs nearby.
- Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.7% rate of unemployment Charles Boustany-R R+15 PVI They are shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, fishermen, and trappers, although more are beginning to work in occupations of the oil industry and ship building.
5 Places where people can’t find a job
- Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 27.3% rate of unemployment Raúl M. Grijalva-D D+7 PVI Employment of Yuma residents is dominated by the local government, Arizona state government, and federal government.
- El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 25.5% rate of unemployment Juan Vargas-D D+7 PVI Employment of El Centro residents is dominated by the local government, California state government, and federal government.
- Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 16.2% rate of unemployment Frank LoBiondo-R Even PVI Known as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City has prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since its founding.
- Rocky Mount, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 12.5% rate of unemployment G.K. Butterfield-D D+17 PVI Rocky Mount has a growing arts community.
- Decatur, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 11.8% rate of unemployment Rodney Davis-R D+1 PVI Decatur is home to the corporate headquarters Archer Daniels Midland which laid off 335 workers in Decatur. In the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy, Decatur has experienced some population decline.
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