TOP 10 CITIES FOR THE FASTEST-GROWING JOBS
Community & Social Service
As mentioned above, community and social service saw the largest growth of any occupation category — including social workers, counselors (including behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors), religious workers, probation officers, and similar jobs. In three years, these jobs saw their employment jump 14.61%, with more solid growth expected.
The city with the best market for community and social service occupations is Philadelphia, with a location quotient of 1.99 — meaning the density of those jobs in that area is nearly twice the national average. Boston, New York, and Detroit are also promising locales.
These jobs, however, aren’t as inextricably linked to metropolitan areas as, for example, computer and mathematics occupations might be, which would explain why some of the largest cities have a lower concentration of those jobs than the national average. San Francisco, the city with the eighth-highest concentration of these jobs, has a location quotient of just .89, below the overall national average.
Computer & Mathematics
Software and web developers, support specialists, systems analysts, network administrators, programmers, and their ilk, as well as statisticians, mathematicians, and computer research scientists comprise this perpetually fast-growing category. Of all of the fastest-growing occupation categories, computer and mathematics surpasses them all when it comes to city density. San Jose, widely known as the nation’s top tech hub, has more than four times the average concentration of computer and math jobs. Just behind San Jose is San Francisco with nearly 3 times the average. Two Texas cities, Austin and Dallas — the latter of which is a budding tech center — also place in the top 10 for computer and math, as do Washington, Seattle, Boston, and Denver.
Columbus, OH, makes a somewhat surprising appearance on the list, likely stemming from a slew of new data centers sprouting up in the area by companies such as Amazon Web Services and Cologix.
Health Care Practitioners & Technicians
Health care is one of those fields that necessarily flourishes everywhere — people always need medical attention, whether preventive or acute treatment. Physicians, surgeons, support technologists, lab technicians, dentists, chiropractors, and therapists are always in demand.
Considering its transcendent importance, this occupation category has a fairly level playing field. Nonetheless, Philadelphia and Detroit have the highest ratios. (Word to the wise: San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington D.C. are near the bottom of the list of cities hopeful health care practitioners should consider.)
Construction & Extraction
Of all the occupations on our list, construction and extraction are the least geographically diverse. None of the cities in our top 10 were on the East Coast or in the Midwest. Five of the top 10 cities in this category are in Texas, reflecting the state’s explosive population growth in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, five of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. are in Texas, many of them suburbs of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio — all cities represented in this list. As populations expand, so does housing and city infrastructure.
Outside the Lone Star state, most of the numbers are somewhat closer to the national average. The exception is Denver, which is undergoing its own residential construction boom, coupled with ongoing energy projects, mostly tied to the extraction and transportation of crude oil and natural gas.
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media
Jobs in this category — which includes actors, journalists, public relations and communications practitioners, social media specialists, designers, musicians, and professional athletes — are concentrated in large metropolitan areas dedicated to entertainment and media. Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles leads the country. Its location quotient of 2.69 reflects the extensive infrastructure of the film and television industries. Similarly, New York City — the publishing, theater, and art capital of the United States — holds an extremely high location quotient of 1.95.
This map looks like a cultural heat map of the United States, with cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Nashville confirming their general reputations for artsy cool. One surprise on this list could be Columbus, OH, which even at the #10 spot shows a robust location quotient of 1.11. The city, home to both Ohio State and Columbus College of Art and Design, has emerged in recent years as an art and fashion mecca. In fact, Columbus employs more fashion designers than any city in the country not named Los Angeles or New York City.