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Job Outlook for 2015: Best and Worst Cities for Growth


For several years now, the unemployment rate has been improving. While this is encouraging, progress has definitely been patchy. Some areas have recovered more quickly from the economic recession than others, just as some industries have endured more of a hit and are slower to bounce back. This week, Manpower Group released the results of their employment outlook survey, forecasting job trends for the first quarter of 2015 based upon a survey of 18,000 U.S. employers in 100 metropolitan areas.

Coral Gables

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Overall, their survey revealed some encouraging projections. Of the employers surveyed, 73 percent said they intend to keep workforce levels steady, while only 6 percent reported that they were planning to let employees go. Nineteen percent said they planned to hire more workers during the first quarter of 2015, and 2 percent were unsure of their hiring plans.

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When the data is broken down by metropolitan area, some regions fare better than others. Although the hiring outlook was positive in all 100 cities, some showed slower progress while others are expecting rapid job market growth.

Here are the top three cities anticipating strong job prospects for the start of 2015.

1. Cape Coral, Florida

Thirty-two percent of employers here project hiring workers toward the start of the year. Growth industries in this Gulf Coast beach destination mainly pertain to tourism and hospitality.

2. McAllen, Texas

With 29 percent of employers projecting a hiring increase in the next few months, this border town ranked number two in the survey. General Electric and Nokia have major facilities there, perhaps due to the tariff-free trade agreements between the U.S. and Mexico.

3. Deltona, Florida

Another Florida beach destination rounds out the top three, with 26 percent of employers expecting to hire in the first part of 2015. (Although Grand Rapids, Michigan, is also expecting a 26 percent increase.)

Here are some of the cities with the weakest projections:

1. Spokane, Washington

2. Portland, Oregon

3. Syracuse, New York

It must be noted though that each of these three cities has a relatively low unemployment rate to begin with. Despite that, fewer than 10 percent of employers in these areas expect to be adding jobs in the near future.

To learn more, check out this summary released by Manpower Group. Other information, such as projections by state and industry, is also provided in a variety of interesting formats for your consideration.

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How will your region’s job market fare in 2015? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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