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.

Ikea is building its next supercenter adjacent to Tampa's bustling container port.
2-year job-growth forecast: 5.3%

Metropolitan-area population: 2.7 million

Who's hiring now: James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, JPMorgan Chase, Raymond James, Verizon

Hottest jobs Senior software developer ($80,900), senior IT systems engineer ($75,500), IT project manager ($75,000), nurse practitioner ($70,200), construction project manager ($67,400)

Tampa has always been a magnet for big companies looking to set up operational headquarters on the cheap. Now its low business costs and steady supply of educated employees are bringing in smaller firms too. The percentage of people working in professional-services jobs here is nearly twice the national average, and that will drive much of the hiring through 2009. Verizon, financial-services heavyweight Raymond James, and a cluster of medical-device manufacturers like Medline are helping to expand the job pool. A dip in construction employment during the past year has pulled the overall growth rate back to earth, but it will be more than offset by the influx of new businesses. Tampa's growing port operations are also luring savvy importers: Ikea Tampa, a 353,000-square-foot supercenter with a 300-seat restaurant, will open in the summer of 2009, adding more than 1,000 jobs to the mix.
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)
The hottest salaries Here are popular job categories in which wages are growing the fastest. (more)
The hottest jobs Here are the most in-demand professionals nationwide, and the cities where they're most coveted. (more)