Where the jobs are

Especially in a tough economy, plentiful job opportunities are key to making a great place to live. These 25 counties have experienced the most job growth over the last eight years.

10 of 25
10. Union County, NC
Union County, NC
Towns include:  Indian Trail, Stallings
Job growth (2000-2008): 57.5%

For an area called Union, there is a division between the eastern and western parts of the county. Situated just 4 miles from the city limits of Charlotte, the west side is densely populated with residential housing, chain restaurants and big-box stores, while the east is mostly rural with abundant available land.

But that's about to change. A 5,000-acre business industrial park in east Union is already in the works and grants are available for companies that commit to bring jobs to the county. While a large portion of residents still commute to Charlotte for work, 83,000 are employed within Union, mostly in manufacturing. Top employers include Tyson Farms and metal manufacturer ATI Allvac.

NEXT: Hamilton County, IN
Last updated July 21 2009: 4:23 PM ET
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