Top 10 Counties To Find Jobs
With millions of Americans out of work, job prospects for unemployed workers are pretty bleak in many parts of the country. Moreover, spending months if not years looking for work in the same city can leave many job seekers feeling like they are spinning their wheels.
So how about someplace new? As with the nation's ailing housing, there are pockets of prosperity in an otherwise dismal landscape. Certain locales in Texas and other energy-producing states, for example, have led the nation in job creation as oil companies leverage high crude prices to finance more exploration.
Of course, the energy sector isn't the only source of new jobs in the U.S. High-tech firms are also hiring, as are some manufacturers.
Still, it makes little sense to up and move if new jobs evaporate as rain after a summer thunderstorm. With that in mind, CNNMoney has compiled a list of 25 counties throughout the U.S. where job creation has been strong during the last decade.
Here are the Top 10:
1. Rockwall County, Texas
Towns include: Heath, Rockwall
Job growth (2000-2010): 97.9 percent
Just east of the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Rockwall County may be the smallest county in Texas, but it's one of the state's fastest-growing, with a population that's nearly doubled in the last decade. Big employers here include L-3 Communications, a provider of electronic systems for commerce and the military, and Pilgrim's Pride, the world's second largest producer of chicken.
2. Loudoun County, Va.
Towns include: Leesburg
Job growth (2000-2010): 75.3 percent
Situated just west of Washington, D.C., Loudon County has been dubbed the "Silicon Valley of the East," and is home to familiar high-tech firms including AOL (publisher of AOL Jobs), Verizon Business and Verisign, a digital ID provider.
3. Williamson County, Texas
Towns include: Brushy Creek, Georgetown, Round Rock
Job growth (2000-2010): 68.1 percent
Southwest of Dallas, Williamson County is a high-tech mecca. The city of Round Rock is home to Dell, one of the world's largest makers of personal computers, and which has plans to hire, as does Emerson Process Management, a maker of automation technology for heavy industry.
4. Douglas County, Colo.
Towns include: Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Parker, Stonegate
Job growth (2000-2010): 64.5 percent
Located along Colorado's Front Range, Douglas County sits between Denver to the north and Colorado Springs to the south. It's home to six Fortune 500 companies, including Liberty Media, Dish Network and Sprint Nextel, and more firms are locating to the county.
5. Hamilton County, Ind.
Towns include: Noblesville, Westfield
Job growth (2000-2010): 50.8 percent
Parts of Indiana have been stung hard by the decades-long retreat in U.S. manufacturing. But Hamilton County -- just north of Indianapolis -- has one of lowest jobless rates in the Hoosier State. Large local employers include Marsh Supermarkets, Freedom Mortgage, Charles Schwab and U.S. Foodservice.
6. Delaware County, Ohio
Towns include: Delaware, Powell
Job growth (2000-2010): 49.2 percent
Another Midwest locality that's putting folks to work, Delaware County has a strong manufacturing base and a variety of small businesses that make everything from auto parts to diapers.
7. DeSoto County, Miss.
Towns include: Hernando, Olive Branch, Southaven
Job growth (2000-2010): 48.2 percent
Distribution centers are driving growth in this Mississippi county just south of the Tennessee border. Drug-giant McKesson and appliance-maker Hamilton Beach are busy setting up warehouses in Olive Branch, bringing with them more than 400 jobs. Siemens Industry has already created 150 positions in Southaven.
8. Utah County, Utah
Towns include: American Fork, Lindon, Provo
Job growth (2000-2010): 47.1 percent
A new federal building project is helping to drive job growth in Utah County, where the National Security Agency (NSA) is constructing a massive new cyber-security center that will create more than 10,000 positions in the next three years. When completed, the center will employ as many as 700 workers, adding to an employment base that's already bolstered by high-tech companies IM Flash Technologies and Overstock.com.
9. Ascension Parish, La.
Towns include: Gonzales
Job growth (2000-2010): 46.6 percent
A rebirth in heavy industry is booting employment in Ascension Parish, which will soon see the reopening of an alumina refinery -- possibly as early as later this year. The plant's reopening is expected to bring 200 hourly jobs and 50 salaried positions. The booming parish expects to see additional employment gains with the opening of an entertainment complex.
10. Campbell County, Wyo.
Towns include: Gillette
Job growth (2000-2010): 43.9 percent
The nation's growing demand for energy is responsible for job growth in Campbell County. Known as the nation's energy capital, the county has massive stores of coal as well natural gas and oil. Major employers include Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and Cloud Peak Energy, but local leaders have a plan to make the region less dependent on volatile energy prices and to attract new industries.
For more on the nation's Top 25 employment gainers, check out CNNMoney's list of Where The Jobs Are.
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