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By Prashant Gopal
If you've been laid off or are just looking for a new place to start your career—or life—over, here are 20 places in the U.S. where companies are hiring and the quality of life is high.
Editor's Note: The metros are ranked based on the percentage of companies planning to hire in the third quarter, according to a new Manpower survey of 28,348 U.S. employers that was conducted Apr. 6-29. Businessweek.com eliminated Barnstable, Mass. (Cape Cod), which would have topped the list, because the surge in expected hiring in the next quarter is likely due to seasonal hires. In cases where metros have equal percentages of companies planning to hire, the unemployment rate is used to break the tie. The best job prospects for each metro area are also pulled from the same survey. Home prices are provided by Zillow.com, 2008 population is based on U.S. Census data, and the March 2009 unemployment rate comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The locations are all metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Census.