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.

19 of 25
19. Dallas County, IA
Dallas County, IA
Towns include:  Urbandale, Clive
Job growth (2000-2008): 51.4%

Don't be confused. Dallas County, Iowa, is some 700 miles north of the Big D in Texas. But it's just to the west of Des Moines, and gets a lot of spillover business from Iowa's largest city. Back in the day that might have meant work in a feed lot or factory floor, but now it's likely to be in insurance, finance or healthcare.

Wells Fargo is the county's largest employer, followed by Farm Bureau Insurance and a host of health-related companies. But the past is still alive in Dallas County -- Tyson Fresh Foods employs over 1,200 people at a port processing plant.

NEXT: Will County, IL
Last updated July 21 2009: 4:23 PM ET
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