7. DeSoto County, MS
DeSoto County, MS
Towns include: Hernando, Olive Branch, Southaven
Job growth (2000-2010): 48.2%

Jobs are heading down the Mighty Mississippi to DeSoto County. Located just below the Tennessee border, the area is attracting businesses with lucrative tax breaks and incentives.

Distribution centers are a popular venture here. Pharmaceutical giant McKesson is building a $120 million hub in Olive Branch (moving 300 jobs from nearby Memphis). Appliance maker Hamilton Beach also is setting one up, relocating more than 100 jobs from Memphis. Then there's lighting tech manufacturer Siemens Industry, which brought about 150 jobs to a new center.

DeSoto County likes to brag that it's become home to more than 200 new and expanding businesses with more than 10,000 added jobs over the last ten years. That's helped keep unemployment in the county at an impressively low 8.3%, well under the state's 11% overall jobless rate.


Last updated August 19 2011: 7:00 PM ET
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These terrific small towns -- even now -- boast great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, and more.

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