Relocating in a Soft Economy-Where the Hot Job Markets Are


When workers start thinking about making a career transition, one consideration for them often is where they should work—not just which company, but which area of the country. Many are willing to make the big decision to switch careers, but don’t want to complicate matters by moving to another region.


However, if you are open to picking up your roots and moving them to another section of the country and settling down there, then you’ll need to do your homework first. In choosing a new region to live in, many factors will come into play.


Do you have relatives or friends living in that area? Is the weather conducive to your needs? Will the new region be a good fit for you? All of these factors are important. Having friends and family living in that area will make just your adjustment easier. Weather is important, too—if you don’t like winter, stay away from Minneapolis, or if you can’t stand the heat, Miami might not be the place for you. And finding a good fit is essential—if you’re not a city person, you don’t want to work in New York and Philadelphia.


It’s also important to research the country’s hot job markets. The last thing you want to do is to move across the country, and then see your job eliminated after three months. So, where are the hot job markets in 2008? In many ways, all you have to do is follow the money.


According to, seven of the country’s top 20 job markets are in oil-rich Texas and Oklahoma with another seven located in the South. Houston, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth take up the top three places in the rankings, determined by percentage of growth of private-sector jobs, number of new jobs, and low unemployment rate. San Antonio, Oklahoma City, El Paso, and Tulsa also made the Top 20, as did these areas in the South: Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham in North Carolina, Charleston and Greenville in South Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


If Texas and the South aren’t for you, some big cities around the country also ranked highly with Seattle at No. 5, Washington at No. 15, New York at No. 19, and Boston at No. 26. Other areas, however, didn’t do well, landing on Bizjournals’ list of coldest job markets. These include some areas that shouldn’t come as a surprise because of the slump in the auto and Rust Belt industries.


This coldest 10 list includes Detroit and Lansing in Michigan, and Toledo, Youngstown, Dayton, and Cleveland in Ohio. But Providence and Los Angeles also made the bottom 10, so all is not glittery in Tinsel Town. If you’re interested in relocating for your next job, you might want to check out the BizJournals report and charts at