20 Cities Surviving the Recession

Miranda Marquit

This recession has been a brutal one for many job-seekers. The job market has deteriorated in many parts of the country, but some cities were harder hit than others, and some cities are starting to emerge from the recession, offering new job opportunities.

Things do seem to be improving on the jobs front — at least in some places. Indeed, Forbes offers a list of cities where the recession is easing, based on data from the 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Yahoo Hot Jobs also reports on cities that are offering expected job growth in 2010. Here are 20 cities where the recession is ending — and you might be able to find a job.

Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital is on its way to recovery from the recession, and this includes Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia. Job growth is beginning, and home prices appear to be stabilizing somewhat. The government is hiring again, and that is helping matters for the D.C. area as well.

Austin, Texas

The Austin area has seen good job growth even during the recession, ranking number one in that category between 2007 and 2009. The capital of Texas has been somewhat protected from the effects of recession, and enjoys a solid three-year job growth forecast. Texas has been a good place to be this entire recession, and Austin is one of the leaders.


The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is doing well, also, providing a beacon of economic hope in the Midwest. While the job growth potential isn't as good as in some Texas cities, Minneapolis nevertheless shows solid progress in job creation, and offers a degree of stability in the housing market.


Another Texas town, Dallas is offering some encouraging signs of economic recovery and job creation. Included in this area is Fort Worth and Arlington. While not as far along as Austin, Dallas still provides a number of opportunities for those looking to escape some of the ravages of recession.


Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, it is easy, sometimes, to overlook Denver. However, this is a mistake if you are looking to escape the recession. The city might have been a little slow during the recession, but it appears to be coming out of the funk nicely, with a decent jobs growth forecast and a relatively stable housing market.


Again, the resiliency of Texas is seen in the Houston area. There is a good job growth forecast for the next three years, and Houston even saw a positive ranking during 2007 through 2009 — during the height of the recession. And it looks like Houston is ready to hit a period of economic growth running.

San Antonio, Texas

There's just no escaping Texas. San Antonio has the distinction of being number one out of metro areas when it comes to the three-year job growth forecast. It was even number two on the job growth list for 2007-2009. If you are looking for a job to help you overcome your own personal recession, you might consider San Antonio.


The area that includes Boston, Cambridge and Quincy in Massachusetts is providing a nice Northeastern haven from the recession in some ways. Home prices are relatively stable, the city saw reasonable job growth during the recession. While the three-year forecast for job growth isn't as impressive, the city nonetheless is showing signs of economic life.

Los Angeles

It may come as a surprise that Forbes considers L.A. on this list. However, the area including L.A., Long Beach and Santa Ana is showing some signs of rebounding. The metro area has a large gross domestic product, and the three-year job growth forecast is ranked 12, showing that improvement is on the way.

Kansas City, Mo.

Another Midwestern gem, Kansas City is showing that it is ready to climb out of the recession. The three-year job growth forecast in Kansas City is ranked 14. The city kept jobs reasonably well during the recession, and is now looking forward, with job creation and with stabilizing home prices.

Fort Hood, Texas

This Army base, and the surrounding areas of Killeen and Temple, provide jobs in the form of health care services and other services needed to keep the base running. There is also high demand for higher education jobs, and the fact that military base consolidation is going to Fort Hood means future opportunities.

Salt Lake City

This mountain city is known for its quality jobs and technology industry. The entire state of Utah saw minimal fallout from subprime lending, even though the local real estate market did fall. Cutbacks at the state level are modest, and there are good opportunities for growth in Salt Lake City.

Durham, N.C.

There are a number of industries that are helping Durham move out of its recession funk, including pharmaceutical, higher education and research. While prices fell during the recession, they appear to be stabilizing as population growth encourages demand for homes. Yahoo considers Durham a professional hot spot.

McAllen, Texas

This area includes Mission and Edinburg. Like the rest of the metro areas in Texas, McAllen is showing promise for the future. Employment growth has happened even during the recession, and there is demand for technology and business professionals. Service industries are also doing reasonably well in McAllen.

Lafayette, La.

Energy is one of the major industries in Louisiana, and Lafayette stands to gain as the economy improves. Recent increases in oil prices have been helping the city out of the recession. Lafayette shows future promise as it tries to develop additional industries that are less dependent on fluctuating energy prices.

Olympia, Wash.

With its state government jobs, the capital of Washington is attractive. Additionally, it is seeing job growth helping it out of the recession as businesses choose Olympia over the high costs in Seattle. Business growth has helped the city move out of the recession, but state government employment is expected to decline.

Raleigh, N.C.

Throughout the recession, Raleigh's strong underlying business community and higher education community helped reduce exposure. This base is giving Raleigh, even though it did suffer during the recession, a strong foundation for recovery moving forward. There is special emphasis on the technology and services industries in Raleigh.

Huntsville, Ala.

The home of Space Camp is also known for an economy that is considered fairly diverse. There is a growing military base that should bring in new jobs, and the variety of jobs already there, including professional, research, technology and manufacturing, are creating a solid base for recovery from the recession.

The next two cities may not be completely ready for economic recovery, but they show promise since they are among those listed as good cities for green energy jobs. If you are looking to ride the wave of future jobs in green industries, you might consider the following cities as possible candidates.

Portland, Ore.

This city is considered among the most sustainable in the U.S. A growing percentage of Oregon's jobs are in green industries. However, Portland continues to struggle with high unemployment. But with the continued interest in green energy, especially as the economy improves, the city might find itself in a better position soon.

San Francisco

Like Portland, San Francisco is still reeling a little bit from the recession. However, the city shows signs of getting ready for a recovery, and part of that is due to green energy. Permits for LEED-certified buildings are up, and that means construction workers will be needed.

Finding a job in this economy is still difficult, even in some of the cities that are seeing a measure of recovery from the recession. The job hunt still requires that you get things in order, and that you persist in your efforts. Looking in certain cities, though, might help increase your chances of finding a job and overcoming your own personal recession.