Throughout the recession, many people were just happy to have jobs. After all, with companies laying off workers in force, those who kept their jobs had no desire leave and enter the job market. Now, though, there is evidence that workers are feeling more confident, ready to move on. More employees are quitting, and if you are tired of your current job, now might be the time to look for a new job.

The job hunt is never particularly fun, and you might be comfortable where you are with a good benefits package and a number of perks. But if you are tired of waiting for a raise, and would rather engage in salary negotiations outright, it might be a good time to quit and move on. If you don’t mind relocating, you might be able to increase your chances of finding solid employment. CNN Money offers a list of 25 places offering good job growth over the last nine years. Here are the top ten:

  1. Lincoln County, SD
  2. Williamson County, TX
  3. Hays County, TX
  4. Douglas County, CO
  5. Fort Bend County, TX
  6. Webb County, TX
  7. Collin County, TX
  8. Broomfield County, CO
  9. Hamilton County, IN
  10. Cache County, UT

Lots of these counties are in Texas. I was pleased, though, to see that my current place of residence, in Utah, made the top ten. We have weathered the economic downturn fairly well here, and there is decent job growth.

But, before you pull up stakes and move to one of the cities on CNN’s list, you might want to consider the kinds of jobs that are available.

What Type of Job Do You Want?

Depending on where you go, the job growth some areas are seeing may be in low skill, relatively low pay jobs. If you don’t have anything right now, or if you are looking for something to do in semi-retirement, this isn’t such a bad thing. Moving somewhere that has a number of jobs readily available, and a relatively low cost of living, might just answer your notions. But if you are looking for a high skill job, that offers higher pay, you may not be in luck.

In Cache County, for example, there are a number of jobs available in factories and in the service industries. However, even though the CNN Money article touts the presence of an university with major NASA grants (my husband worked on one), and some medical services companies, the plum jobs at these employers are difficult to come by. It’s competitive to find teaching jobs here as well. Before you move somewhere in search of a job, make sure that you understand the job market, and know what is actually available — and whether it is what you really want.


Another consideration is the available lifestyle. I like living in Cache County. It has a small town feel, and it is nestled in the mountains. I love the outdoors, and there are numerous opportunities to camp, fish, hike, boat and more within a couple of hours. While slim on some offerings, for the size of the town, I have been pleasantly surprised at the range of restaurants, and the university offers cultural performances and opportunities that probably would not be normally available in this setting. What we can’t do here, we can usually do in Salt Lake, a little more than an hour away. I also like that the cost of living is fairly inexpensive.

However, this type of town doesn’t appeal to everyone. Many of the counties listed on CNN’s list have a distinctly rural flavor, and if you like the bright lights of the city, moving to look for a job may not be the best plan. Before you going haring after a job, make sure that you do research on local entertainment offerings, and other items that are important to you.

Moving to look for a new job can be a risky endeavor. Before you decide to take the plunge, make sure you run a cost-benefit analysis. Compare what you might have in a new town with what you have already, and what benefits you might receive. Don’t forget to factor in the costs associated with moving, and the emotional costs that your family will experience. It’s a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.