The Cities Best Positioned for Growth Based on the Right Mix of Jobs

Having the right mix of jobs in a local economy might be a predictor for future growth.

1 minute read

December 13, 2015, 7:00 AM PST

By jwilliams @jwillia22

Durham, North Carolina

James Willamor / Flickr

Writing on his blog, economist Jed Kolko looks at what the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics' ten year projection for occupational growth means for cities. Essentially, the jobs most commonly found in large urban areas (i.e., actors, economists, elevator installers, medical scientists) are likely to see faster growth than those jobs concentrated in less dense areas. So, those metro areas that have a mix of jobs expected to grow in demand are likely to see their population growth continue. For those areas, with a concentration of less in demand jobs, you’ll grow a little slower.

Among all metropolitan areas with at least half a million people, Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, has the most favorable job mix for future growth, followed by New Haven and San Jose. Several of these top ten have large local tech industries, including Durham-Chapel Hill, San Jose, Boston, and Washington, DC. Many are among America’s most expensive markets.

Kolko does make a caveat that his analysis does not consider the specific economic intricacies of each market, nor does the analysis consider potential barriers to the future population growth of communities, such as the high cost of housing.

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