17. Lafayette County, LA
Best Places Job Growth Lafayette LA
Towns include: Lafayette
Job growth (2000-2011): 27.2%

There's a lot to savor in Lafayette, which is known as much for its po' boys as for its pro-business attitude. The hub of Acadiana -- Louisiana's Cajun region -- Lafayette is home to companies in a wide range of fields.

Oil and gas are important to this vibrant parish, but manufacturing, retail, medical services and tech play a big role too. And with direct access to major interstate highways, freight carriers like FedEx and UPS also gravitate here.

The latest boon for Lafayette? The decision by Louisiana Plating & Coatings early this year to construct an 80,000-square-foot plant that is anticipated to create 120 new jobs. Halliburton, one of LP&C's chief customers, also has plans to build a manufacturing facility in the area.

  @Money - Last updated August 20 2012 08:49 AM ET
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These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and a true sense of community.

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