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Report: Jobs Still Lagging in Chicago Area

By Randi Petrello

A recent jobs growth report shows that, while growth here in Chicago has been slow, the city is doing better than other old industrial cities.

The 2014 Best Cities for Jobs Growth list, created by New Geography, ranked Chicago No. 225, up 33 spots from No. 258 in 2013. The city ranked No. 47 on a breakdown of the largest cities, up five spots from the previous year.

The report found that many large cities are still lagging, including Chicago.

“Not only is the Windy City not adding many jobs (0.5 percent growth since 2008) but every county in the area, according to recent Census numbers, is losing migrants to other parts of the country,” the report stated.

Residents are finding a new home in other states. Each of the six counties in the Chicago area experienced a loss in migration from 2010 to 2013, according to the Census Bureau.

The full list of 398 metropolitan areas was broken down into three categories: “large” areas, with a current nonfarm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs; “midsize” cities, which range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs; and “small” areas, with as many as 150,000 jobs.

The ranking was calculated based on five measures of growth including recent employment growth trend; mid-term growth; long-term momentum; current year growth; and the average of each year’s growth rate.

New Geography found that the information and technology sectors helped drive jobs in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and New York City.

Tucson ranked No. 300 overall, down 55 spots from No. 245 in 2013. On the large cities list, the city came in at No. 71.

The small cities list, previously topped by Texas cities, was shaken up, with Bismarck, N.D., at No. 1, followed by Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.; Columbia, Mo.; St. George, Utah; and Greeley, Colo.

Boulder, Colo., topped the medium cities list again, followed by Provo, Utah; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; and Lafayette, La.

San Jose, San Francisco, Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; and Houston led the large cities list.

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