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BEST CITIES FOR JOBS

1. Scottsdale, Ariz.

2. Plano, Texas

3. Orlando

4. Sioux City, S.D.

5. San Francisco

6. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

7. Chandler, Ariz.

8. Salt Lake City, Utah

9. Tempe, Ariz.

10. Raleigh, N.C.

Source: WalletHub

Chattanooga trails only red-hot Nashville in Tennessee in a survey ranking the best cities nationwide for jobs.

WalletHub compared the 150 most populous cities nationally across 23 key indicators of job-market strength, with Chattanooga finishing in the top half of all the locations.

Chattanooga, which came in at No. 68 behind Nashville's No. 31, scored especially high in the "job market" part of the rankings. But, it slipped in the "socioeconomic environment" portion of the scoring, according to WalletHub.

Scottsdale, Ariz., ranked first in the survey, edging No. 2 Plano, Texas, and No. 3 Orlando.

Knoxville came in at No. 106, followed by Memphis at No. 124, according to the survey.

Terry Hart, who heads the Chattanooga Airport, said he's seeing economic activity help drive record passenger boardings at Lovell Field.

"There's a lot of economic development taking place in the region," he said, adding the airport is seeing more people choosing to fly out of Chattanooga rather than drive to another city to fly. "It's exciting to see that growth."

Bill Kilbride, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's chief executive, cited the expansion of the city's Volkswagen assembly plant and the ramp-up of production of the Atlas midsize sport utility vehicle, which went on sale at dealerships last month.

VW alone, not counting manpower additions at local suppliers, has brought on about 1,000 employees over the last year or so, pushing its headcount to around 3,450 workers.

Kilbride said he believes the best is still ahead for the plant, with the Chamber planning to do its part in helping the German automaker to grow in the city. The company has unveiled plans to eventually add about 1,000 more employees to its Chattanooga workforce.

In the WalletHub survey, it took into consideration when comprising the "job market" scores of such factors as employment opportunities, growth, and outlook. Also examined were the unemployment rate, industry variety and the monthly median starting salary, among other factors.

Chattanooga came in at No. 43, in the top third nationally among the cities, in that part of the survey.

But, the Scenic City only ranked 125th when it came to the "socioeconomic environment" portion. That part looked at factors such as annual medium income, working and commuting time, employee benefits, housing affordability and others.

Nashville, meanwhile, came in at No. 19 nationally in its "job market" score. Still, its "socioeconomic environment" ranking was just 105 among the 150 cities.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

 

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