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The Milken Institute came out with its annual list of cities that are best able to create jobs. The top ten were culled from a list of the nation’s 200 largest cities. All have managed to avoid the worst of the economic meltdown driven by falling housing markets and job losses in manufacturing and global trade.
The 2009 top 10 performers
1. Austin-Round Rock, TX
2. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX
3. Salt Lake City, UT
4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
6. Durham, NC
7. Olympia, WA
8. Huntsville, AL
9. Lafayette, LA
10. Raleigh-Cary, NC
Texas cities dominate the list. The free-marketers at the Milken Institute already love the Lone Star State with its lack of zoning laws and no state income tax. Communities such as Houston, Austin, Killen and not too far Lafayette, Louisiana never saw a big run up in home prices and they have the still strong energy sector supporting their economies.
The Milken folks noted that the biggest decliners on list included multiple cities in Florida and California where housing related jobs continue to disappear. Michigan cities are also among the nation’s weakest performers, with heavy losses in durable goods and automotive manufacturing.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.