2020 Forecast: The Biggest Winners and Losers in Job Creation This Decade

The Washington, D.C., area has a lot to crow about in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest forecasts for job creation in the next ten years. The District, its Maryland suburb of Bethesda, and nearby Baltimore are among the ten cities with the highest-projected job growth by 2020, as shown by the graph above.

Atlantic Cities author Jed Kolko takes the BLS data and mixes it with some other ingredients -- including climate and density, which he expects will drive population growth and job creation in addition to secular industry growth (the bread and butter of BLS forecasts). His top-ten and bottom-ten lists look like this:

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 10.26.59 AM.png

Southwestern metros now dominate the fastest-growth list, led by Phoenix, Tucson, and El Paso. The slow-growth club is all Northeast and Midwest, plus Los Angeles. Mild climate and low density mean that southern metros like Greensboro, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina, should grow faster than their unfavorable industry mix suggests, so they're off the bottom-10 list when all factors are included.

The map below shows that employment growth will be fastest in the Southwest, Texas and parts of Florida and California. The South looks more blue than before, while the Northeast and Midwest are pretty solidly light and dark red. Turns out, metros with good climate, higher education and lower density tend, on average, to have a more favorable industry mix to begin with. But some metros blessed with industries that are likely to grow - like New York and Boston - will be held back by harsher weather and a higher cost of living. Other metros - like Phoenix and Las Vegas - should grow fast despite having concentrations of industries projected to grow more slowly.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Cities.

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