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Thursday
Jan132011

Job Hunting? Employment Opportunities Up in Five US Cities

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though the December jobs report revealed a lower unemployment rate -- dropping to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent the month before, which was the biggest monthly drop in a dozen years as 100,000 jobs were added to payrolls -- job seekers want to know exactly where the openings exist.

Here's a list of five U.S. cities where hiring is up and is expected to continue to rise, according to Moody's Analytics and Monster.com.

-- Portland: The city is on an upswing thanks to technology.  Intel, which creates computer processor and related products, is Oregon's largest employer.  It has announced plans to build a new research and development facility in the Portland area and has invested $6 billion there.  The ripple effect of that investment will be construction and manufacturing jobs, too.  Portland is also a regional hub and so global trade has been on the rise as well.

-- Minneapolis: The city has already recovered more than half of the jobs it lost in the recession.  Manufacturing is regaining steam because demand for products is staying ahead of production, which means new orders are growing.  Plus, the number of retail jobs is growing, helped in no small part by the massive expansion of the Mall of America, which is currently underway.

-- Houston: The unemployment rate in Houston doubled to 8.6 percent, still lower than the national average, yet oil and energy are keeping and creating jobs.  Energy prices and demand are up, which boosts exploration, shipping and manufacturing -- everything connected with the oil industry.  And because things are doing well, people are moving to Houston, pumping up the housing and health care market.

-- Washington, D.C.: The growth in D.C. will be driven by the need for business services -- office workers for the many industries that want headquarters close to the capitol.  Highly educated and skilled workers already in the area are attracting firms to come to the area, so much so that business service employment has already passed its pre-recession peak and experts expect it to keep growing.

-- Orlando: Now that people are feeling more confident and are willing to spend some money on vacations, Orlando's job market is growing.  The new Harry Potter entertainment complex added a lot of jobs, too.  Orlando will also benefit from net-migration, which means people moving to the area for seasonal jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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