This headline should come to no surprise to long time readers as massive federal government spending continues to cause a redistribution of wealth from the hinterlands to Washington D.C. (and surrounding areas). [Mar 11, 2010: [Video] America's 3 Wealthiest Counties Now Ring Washington D.C.] Aside from actual federal government jobs, a whole ecosystem of lobbyist, defense contractors, and associated type work to service the new elite continues to grow. Much easier to understand the ivory tower views of Congress when they live in an area protected by normal market forces. And with stats like this, is it any surprise the 'ecosystem' is booming?
- Hundreds of defense companies that defrauded the U.S. military between 2007 and 2009 still received $285 billion in contracts from the Pentagon during the same period, a U.S. senator said Wednesday.
Of the major cities in the U.S. that don't depend so heavily on sucking on the teat of the American taxpayer, Dallas and Boston provided the best areas of job growth in 2010, with Minneapolis and surprisingly Phoenix following behind. (perhaps a positive indicator for real estate investors in the Phoenix market)
In much of my reading, if you exclude the northern and middle plains (i.e. the Dakotas, Nebraska, and the like) which are akin to America's Australia and benefiting from natural resources / agriculture, hence create products the rest of the world demands [Jun 8, 2008: A Real Green Shoot - the Dakotas] [Aug 2, 2009: Slice of Central US Safe from Recession Shrinking] [Dec 9, 2010: [Video] - Need a Job? Head to Williston, North Dakota]- the other top cities (many 'medium sized') are those which are state capitals. Again no surprise. As an example, Madison had a dramatically lower unemployment rate than other cities in Wisconsin - this seems to be the pattern across the nation. [Nov 29, 2010: On the Safety of Government Work]
As a reminder this is how the American workforce is currently broke down - essentially unless you are in Manhattan or a few dynamic cities like Boston and Dallas, you want to be hovering in state capitols..... or of course the new center of American commerce - Washington D.C.
Private: 108.0M (83%)
Public - Federal: 2.84M (2.2%)
Public - State: 5.14M (3.9%)
Public - Local: 14.32M (11.0%)
- Jobs are hard to come by in every U.S. city, but you stand a better chance of getting hired if you live in Washington, Dallas or Boston. Those three metropolitan areas topped the rest of the nation's cities in jobs added in 2010.
- And all three are home to industries that are poised to hire this year. Information technology companies, biomedical research firms and government contractors are growing industries that are likely to add to their payrolls in the coming months -- and the federal government has plenty of jobs listed, too.
- The largest generators of net jobs were Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Phoenix, Ariz., and Minneapolis-St. Paul. All five metro areas have unemployment rates below the national average.
- Boston, Dallas and Washington ....All three have benefited from growth in the information technology sector, economists said. Companies like Intel, which has a plant in the Boston region, are producing more semiconductors, and computer makers have also boosted output. Corporations are investing more in computer networking and data storage equipment. That's helped companies like EMC Corp., which is based in the Boston area and makes data storage network equipment, and Dallas-based chipmaker Texas Instruments.
- Those sectors have bounced back much better than struggling areas like housing or auto production, said Alan Clayton-Matthews, an economist at Northeastern University.
- The Washington metro area, which includes suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia, has also benefited from accelerated hiring by the federal government. The area added 57,500 jobs last year, the most of any city. The region's unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in December -- the lowest unemployment rate among major metro areas.
- The first thing I would point to is the federal government, said Sara Kline, a regional economist with Moody's Analytics. Federal employment in the region grew 3.7 percent in 2010, she said. That doesn't include jobs created indirectly by government contractors, which are prominent in Washington's Virginia suburbs. And Maryland is also a burgeoning source of biotech and medical research jobs, anchored by the government's National Institutes of Health, a collection of research labs based in Bethesda, Md.
- The airline and shipping industries have given a lift the Dallas Fort-Worth area, which is a regional transport hub and home to Southwest Airlines Co. and AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines. Package delivery company UPS has a hub at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. It has benefited from a rebound in business travel and shipping, said Steve Cochrane, an economist at Moody's Analytics. The city has also profited from rising oil and gas prices, which have been a boon to the state's oil industry. The Dallas metro area added 36,700 jobs last year, and its unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent from 8 percent.
- Like the Washington area, Boston has also benefited from growth in biotech firms like Genzyme Corp., located in nearby Cambridge. The Boston metro area added 32,600 jobs last year, the third-most of any city. Its unemployment rate plummeted to 7.1 percent in December 2010, down from 8.3 percent a year earlier.
Outside of the major cities, once more Nebraska and the Dakotas continue to have the best situation:
- Lincoln, Neb. had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Bismarck, N.D. and Fargo, N.D. at 3.9 percent and 4 percent, respectively.