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.

Biotech and pharmaceutical firms are adding thousands of jobs to Raleigh's economy.
2-year job-growth forecast: 5.8%

Metropolitan-area population: 1.5 million

Who's hiring now: Cisco, Credit Suisse Group, Fidelity Investments, Network Appliance

Hottest jobs: Senior software develeoper ($91,000), software project manager ($87,300), senior network engineer ($84,100), IT project manager ($83,300), pharmaceuticals project manager ($82,300), biotech research scientist ($75,300)

Raleigh-Durham remains America's top region for tech workers--and is expected to keep expanding faster than other tech hubs like Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle. Last year the metro matched the job-creation record it set in 2000 by adding 38,000 new positions. "This year is going to come in almost as high," predicts Wachovia senior economist Mark Vitner. Like Washington, Raleigh-Durham has a large public-sector base that helps protect it from economic slumps. But its economy is more diverse than Washington's, with expansion in pharmaceutical manufacturing, biotech, and financial services. Raleigh's cost advantages keep drawing more top employers. This fall Fidelity Investments will open a $100 million tech center that will add 2,000 jobs, and Silicon Valley-based Network Appliance is expanding its operations division here. "Raleigh is cheaper," Vitner says, "and has one of the most highly educated workforces in the country."
Sources: Conference Board, Global Insight, Moody's, PayScale, and Radford Surveys & Consulting.


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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)