Employment Outlook for Q1 2010

Employment Outlook for Q1 2010

By Prashant Gopal

The recession appears to be over and America's job-market recovery should get under way next year (assuming there's no dreaded double-dip downturn). In the first quarter of next year, the nation's annualized job growth rate will fall by just 1%, according to a projection by Moody's Economy.com. Compare that to the first quarter of this year, when payrolls contracted by nearly 6%. But some metros will far outperform the nation and could be in recovery mode by late this year. We asked Economy.com to rank the country's metros by projected first-quarter job growth and found some surprising results. Read on to see which metros will have the fastest and most robust job growth.

Methodology: The metropolitan statistical areas were ranked based on Moody's Economy.com job growth forecasts for the first quarter next year. The first quarter of recovery is the first quarter in which metro payrolls began to expand. The metro unemployment rate was for September 2009 and was provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median household income came from U.S. Census.