America's best jobs in the hottest markets

The great American hiring boom is slowing down--but as labor cools with the rest of the economy, a few choice regions will stay red-hot. You just have to know where to look.

Financial giants Bank of America and Wachovia are stoking investment.
2-year job-growth forecast: 5.7%

Metropolitan-area population: 1.6 million

Who's hiring now: Bank of America, Wachovia, life-science startups at the North Carolina Research Campus

Hottest jobs: IT project manager ($83,000), senior software developer ($82,900), regional sales manager ($80,500), senior financial analyst ($72,900), construction project manager ($71,200)

Sorry, Atlanta. These days no one disputes Charlotte's standing as the true financial center of the South. The $2.1 trillion in assets that local financial services giants Bank of America and Wachovia pulled in last year made Charlotte a close second to New York City as America's financial capital. Thanks in part to its big banks, the region's total business investment--a powerful driver of jobs--nearly tripled in '06, hitting $4.1 billion and adding 12,000 jobs to Charlotte and 20,000 to the region overall.

Charlotte may soon become an important new biotechnology hub. David Murdock, a venture capitalist and the chairman of Dole Food, is building a $1.5 billion biotech complex in nearby Kannapolis that could generate more than 14,000 jobs. Scientists from the state's top universities are already trickling into the 350-acre North Carolina Research Campus, which is expected to be completed in 2011.
Sources: Conference Board, Global Insight, Moody's, PayScale, and Radford Surveys & Consulting.


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Where the jobs are See our interactive map to find out where Help Wanted signs abound--and which positions are in the highest demand. (more)
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The hottest jobs Here are the most in-demand professionals nationwide, and the cities where they're most coveted. (more)