These five areas of the US are adding jobs faster than anywhere else
Nashville suburbs, northern Virginia are hiring hotbeds
If you live in the suburbs south of Nashville, Tenn., near Brigham Young University in Utah or just across the Washington, D.C. border in Virginia, you are in luck. Employment is rising faster in those areas than anywhere in the United States.
A new government report shows that 308 of the nation’s 342 largest counties increased jobs from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. Check out the counties with the fastest job growth.
Williamson county, Tennessee
It’s easy to understand why the wealthy suburbs south of Nashville are a hotbed for business. Williamson has the lowest tax rate of any county in Tennessee and the state itself has no income tax. More than half the people who live in the county have college degrees and some of the nation’s largest companies, such as Mars, Verizon (VZ) and Nissan (NSANY) North American have large operations there.
Employment jumped 6.8% from October 2014 to December 2015 and it’s expect to surge in the years ahead. Plenty of jobs are available in health care, business, engineering, education and back-office support. The county’s unemployment rate is 2.7%, compared to 4.7% nationwide.
Utah county, Utah
The bustling area between Utah Lake and the foot of the Wasatch mountains revolves around the cities of Provo and Orem and has been ranked as one of the best places in the U.S. to live. Brigham Young University is an economic focal point, but the county has also attracted lots of tech jobs. A New Yorker article referred to the county as “the Next Silicon Valley.”
Construction, transportation and extraction of natural resources also provide lots of jobs for workers who might not have college degrees.
Employment jumped 6.6% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The county’s unemployment rate is 3.2%.
Loudoun county, Va.
The well-heeled suburb straddling Washington, D.C. has long benefited from its proximity to the federal government and spending on national defense. Yet the county has also attracted lots of businesses in technology and communications, two of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S.
The Loudoun economic development agency, for example, claims that up to 70% of the entire world’s internet traffic passes through the county each day. So-called data centers that manage internet traffic take up 9 million square feet in the county. That’s about the size of 156 football fields.
Employment grew 6.3% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The county’s unemployment rate is 2.7%.
The region just south of the state capitol of Richmond has the largest population in Virginia. The county has aggressively sought new businesses with promises of low taxes and regulations and other forms of indirect assistance. The county is one of the savviest in the U.S. at using the web to connect to residents and businesses.
Many of the largest companies in the U.S. have a presence, including Amazon (AMZN) , Wal-Mart (WMT) , DuPont (DD) , and UPS(UPS) . Health care has been a leading generator of new jobs, although retailers employ the most people in the county. The Pentagon is another major job provider.
Employment grew 6% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The county’s unemployment rate is 3.2%.
Lee county, Fla.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers region on the southwestern coast of Florida has undergone a population explosion in the past few decades and it has one of the youngest populations in the state, making it prime territory for businesses to locate.
Not surprisingly, a rising population and all the new business development has spawned a surge in construction jobs. Trade, transportation, education, health care and hospitality are also fast growing. The state’s lack of income tax, low corporate tax rates and reputation for light regulations has also helped to draw more business.
Employment grew 5.9% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The county’s unemployment rate is 4.1%.
Jeffry Bartash is a reporter for MarketWatch in Washington.