11 Comeback Cities for 2011


Hundreds of cities across the country were hammered by the recession, many experiencing double-digit declines in employment, throwing thousands of their residents out of work.

For some particularly hard-hit metro areas, 2011 will bring a dramatic turnaround -- new investment by businesses, growth in the number of jobs and a reblooming of hope.

Recovering all the ground they lost will take years and many of the cities are still suffering with unemployment that exceeds the national average. But these cities are enjoying a surprising and welcome upward bounce.

11 Comeback Cities for 2011

Portland, OreGON


Population: 2,241,841

Unemployment rate today: 10.0%

Forecast job growth for 2011: 3.4%

The Portland area is seeing significant growth in the software industry and in clean technology -- energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and batteries and wind power. Vestas, a high-tech producer of wind power systems, recently moved its North American headquarters to Portland. Vestas brought over 400 employees with it, but will also create an additional 200 jobs. ReVolt Technology, a European firm focusing on renewable battery technology, is setting up its headquarters in Portland, bringing 150 jobs to the city.

Plus the Portland Development Commission has awarded approximately $4.4 million in loans and grants to businesses, with the aim of retaining or creating about 1,000 jobs. Portland lost more than 9% of its jobs during the recession. Look for employment growth of about 3.4% this year.

Data are for Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area. Unemployment rate is not seasonally adjusted.


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