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Bringing Up the Rear: How LA Ranks Nationally for Job Growth

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Are green jobs the answer to unemployment in California, like these folks in Michigan suggest? (Photo by greenforall.org via Flickr)
A study released last week ranks American cities in terms of job growth, and groups the results based on the size of the city. And when it comes to the country's "Large" cities, out of 66, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metro Division ranks a discouraging #56 (and 279 out of all 336 cities nationwide).To determine rankings, the study looked at "the robustness of a region's growth" and figures reported over a ten-year span by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information analyzed includes data using "the North American Industry Classification System categories, including total nonfarm employment, manufacturing, financial services, business and professional services, educational and health services, information, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and government."

Los Angeles was handily beat out by most major US cities, with 5 Texas cities topping the "Large" cities list, and other comparable large urban centers like New York (14), Seattle (6), Boston (16), and San Francisco (23) out-ranking us significantly. Just over a year ago, the state began to experience a job market described by the LA Times as an "engine [that] sputtered nearly to a halt," in 2007, with much of that being attributed to the writers' strike. Recent reports show that our unemployment and under-employment rate has soared to 20% locally, and is expected to hit 12% statewide soon.

But while statewide folks there has been some optimism lately about a bright future in "green collar" jobs for Californians, and even locally the potential for work in the tech and internet sector seems encouraging, California's large cities run the spectrum from tops to bottom; the only Californian cities coming in below us are Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (57), Sacramento (60), Oakland (62), and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine (63)--making for a California-heavy bottom 10.

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You might want to tell your friends and relatives in the other 49 to not pack up the car just yet to head out west to make it big in Cali-for-ni-a... A good job is hard to find.