Note to President Obama: Future job growth is all about brain power. Over the next decade, the best jobs are going to go to the cities with the industries and the entrepreneurial incentives in place to support a highly educated, tech-savvy workforce. Want to know where, exactly? We dug through Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, interviewed a host of regional economists, and examined industry trends. In the end, we came up with ten hot spots where jobs will likely grow in the double digits between now and 2018. All are home to notable research institutions; all have solid technology based sectors; six out of ten are state capitals — if you count Minneapolis, St. Paul’s twin city, and the big kahuna of capitals, Washington D.C. — and each one is a great place to live.
In the post-Great-Recession economy, these local economies are going to get an added, immediate boost from demographic trends. They draw in two groups of people: retirees who like the congenial lifestyle and young people looking for higher education. Over the next decade, the sheer size of these two groups will drive economic growth and jobs. “Right now, there are more people exactly 50 years old than any other age group,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “The second-largest age group is 20-year-olds.” So anything that 50-somethings normally spend money on — health care and asset management, for example — and 20-somethings consume — entertainment/information, education, and gadgets — will be in demand.
Follow the links below to check out our ten top locales—and then read our related stories on which sectors are going to do the most hiring: Where You’ll Make Your Next Fortune.