Best Prospects by Metro Market Heading into 2016

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Look West and South for the fastest-growing local markets led by San Jose and San Antonio, according to the latest data on job growth by U.S. cities and metro markets.

The slower-growing markets led by New Orleans, LA, and Houston, TX, are increasingly being affected by the slowdown in the oil industry as fuel prices remain low.

See the table for the full list of the top 50 markets ranked by recent growth.

Besides oil, industries such as technology, autos, government and financial services are the key to the ongoing prospects by local market. Among the callouts and watchouts:

  • San Antonio and Dallas—unlike Houston—have so far avoided a big impact from the oil slowdown thanks to a more diversified job market. Some negative impact should be expected, however.
  • Grand Rapids, MI, and Indianapolis, IN, are Midwestern exceptions among the fastest-growing markets. Grand Rapids is being driven largely by the auto boom of recent years.
  • Tech jobs are a big driver of growth across many of the fastest-growing cities beyond San Jose and San Francisco.
  • Travel and entertainment are lifting prospects in key tourist markets from Orlando, FL, to Las Vegas, NV.
  • In Virginia, Richmond and Virginia Beach-Norfolk are among the markets that continue to lag partly as a result of declines in military and other government-related jobs in recent years.
  • The largest markets led by New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago tend to rank in the middle-to-bottom of the pack in terms of growth prospects.

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