Those looking for work might consider moving to Lafayette, La.
Lafayette is expected to have the nation's largest gain in jobs among metropolitan areas, thanks to its booming energy sector, according to a new report from IHS Global Insight. Employment is expected to soar 8.8% this year, while the area's economy should jump 7.5%.
Overall, metro economies are expected to grow 1.8% in 2012, slightly trailing the nation. Last year, metro economies expanded at a 1.6% rate. IHS prepared the report for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The energy sector is also expected to boost the economies of Odessa, Texas, and Bismarck, N.D., which are projected to grow 9.7% and 7.3% respectively. Their employment gain forecasts are also among the highest at 7.2% and 4.1%.
Meanwhile, the resurgent manufacturing sector is projected to boost the economies of two Indiana metro areas, Columbus and Elkhart-Goshen, which should grow 7.4% and 7.3% respectively. Employment is expected to grow 6.9% and 6.8%. Columbus should benefit from continued focus on advanced manufacturing, while Elkhart-Goshen is expanding its recreational vehicle production.
Not every metro area will do as well. Nearly a fifth of the nation's 363 metro areas will not experience any growth.
Elmira and Ithaca, both in upstate New York, and Dalton, Ga., are expected to fare the worst. Those three metro areas may each see their economy shrink by at least 3%.
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