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What are the Best Big Cities for Jobs?

Do you know the way to San Jose? "The Capital of Silicon Valley" ranks atop Forbes' list of best American big cities for jobs.

| BY Donald Liebenson

When asked why he robbed banks, the infamous Willie Sutton responded,  “That’s where the money is.” In that same entrepreneurial spirit, why might career-pondering Americans consider a move to San Jose, Nashville or Austin? Because, according to a new list released by Forbes, that’s where the jobs are.

The economic recovery might at long last be heating up, if the April jobs report is an indication. Shaking off the winter doldrums, employers added 288,000 jobs across a wide range of industries, the biggest hiring surge in two years. While the unemployment rate did drop to 6.3 percent, the lowest since 2008, but analysts attribute this to the fact that fewer people were looking for work last month, and were therefore not included among the unemployed,

But job growth has averaged 203,000 a month in the past six months, a sign that the economy may be getting back up to speed following the severe and prolonged winter.

So which American big cities are currently best for jobs? Try the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and New York, Forbes recommends. These metropolitan areas have mot “benefited from the boom on Wall Street and the parallel iPO surge in Silicon Valley,” report Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires.

The Forbes rankings are based on short-, medium- and long-term job creation dating back to 2002 and reflect whether growth is slowing or accelerating. The list of the best big cities for jobs (metropolitan service area with more than 450,000 jobs) includes cities that have experienced the most dramatic comebacks since the great Recession as well as those that have consistently created jobs over the long haul, the report states.

The best American big cities for jobs:

1: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Job Growth, 2013: 4.3 percent

2: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division

Job Growth, 2013: 3.6 percent

3: Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX

Job Growth, 2013: 4.1 percent

4. Raleigh-Cary, NC

Job Growth, 2013: 3.9 percent

5: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

Job Growth, 2013: 3 percent

6: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

Job Growth, 2013: 3 percent

7: New York City, NY

Job Growth, 2013: 2.2 percent

8: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Job Growth, 2013: 3.3 percent

9: Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division

Job Growth, 2013: 2.8 percent

10: Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

Job Growth, 2013: 3 percent

Ranking at the bottom of Forbes’ list of the 66 best American big cities for jobs are Camden, N.J (66th) and Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich. (65th). Both, the report states, have occupied the bottom of the list for nearly a decade.

Related story: Top 10 states where residents want to move out

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.