Forbes ranks Jax near top for finding jobs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Forbes magazine is out with a list of the 10 best cities for finding employment, and it ranks Jacksonville as No. 3.

The magazine used analysis by the human resources firm Adecco Staffing to find the cities in the United States with the fullest employment. The company used information from the Department of Labor, as well as internal data around job growth and demand, and then determined which areas are the best for finding a job.

With unemployment at 6.5 percent, Jacksonville has strong hiring in higher education, health care, IT, food services, transportation and logistics and government work from the city's Navy bases.

"We are excited about it. It coincides with the vision I laid to put people back to work by focusing on our growth industries," said Jacksonville Mayor, Alvin Brown. "When I came into office almost two years ago, unemployment was 11.2 percent and today it is 6.5 percent, so we are going in the right direction and we are working with our stakeholders to put people back to work and invest in the future."

Researchers found Jacksonville had a diverse and highly educated labor force.

"Jobs are being added in Jacksonville because of the recent addition of several companies and headquarters that are new to the area including finance and manufacturing companies," Sam Gillespie, a branch manager with the human resources firm Adecco Staffing U.S., told Forbes. "The IT job market has been hot throughout the city with the addition of these companies."

The data found the No. 1 place in the U.S. for finding jobs is the Bethesda, Md., metro area, where the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, as of February 2013. That's 2.5 percentage points lower than the national rate, which was 7.7 percent in February.

The Austin, Texas area, which has an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, holds the No. 2 spot. From March 2012 to March 2013, the unemployment level dropped by 0.7 percent, indicating that an already strong market is improving.

New York City came in at No. 8, which surprised the employment professionals because it is such a concentrated and competitive market.

According to Forbes, the top 10 cities (listed below) all are booming with new businesses.

1.Bethesda, Md.
2.Austin, Texas
3.Jacksonville, Fla.
4.Grand Rapids, Mich.  
5.Columbus, Ohio
6.Seattle, Wash.
7.Phoenix, Ariz.
8,New York
9.Richmond, Va.
10.Oklahoma City, Okla. 

View Forbes' slideshow of best cities to find a job

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.