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.

MGM Mirage will add 28,000 new positions by 2010.
2-year job-growth forecast: 6.5%

Metropolitan-area population: 1.8 million

Who's hiring now: Boyd Gaming, InfoGenesis, MGM Mirage, Station Casinos, Zappos, tech firms "nearshoring" or relocating to Vegas

Hottest jobs: Construction project manager ($78,800), IT project manager ($74,600), construction superintendent ($71,900), civil engineer ($70,000), executive chef ($65,500)

Analysts say Las Vegas could end up topping Orlando in job growth, because it's uniquely insulated from downturns in ways that most major cities would envy. True, the region took a hit when the housing boom went bust last year--a sixth of its workforce is involved in construction and real estate.

But almost in sync, another engine of the local economy went into overdrive: As the value of the U.S. dollar fell last winter, foreign tourists surged in, sparking restaurant openings and hotel expansions. MGM Mirage alone plans to hire 28,000 new employees by the end of the decade. Milken Institute economist Ross DeVol notes that Vegas continues to attract back-office operations from California's high-tech regions. The cost of a knowledge worker, including salary, training, and benefits, is about 20 percent lower here than it is in Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Sources: Conference Board, Global Insight, Moody's, PayScale, and Radford Surveys & Consulting.


Las Vegas




West Palm Beach





Salt Lake City



San Antonio

Ft. Lauderdale
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)