"Looking for a job? Try Florida. For the second year in a row, Florida metropolitan areas dominate the top rankings of the Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Index, a measurement of where jobs are being created in America"
179 small metro and large rural area rankings for job growth and creation:
1. Fort Walton Beach-Destin-Crestview, FL
4. Panama City-Lynn Haven, FL
Largest 200 metro areas rankings for job growth and creation:
55. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL
82. Tallahassee, FL
Unfortunately, to get at the full methodology you've got to pay $15 for the actual report, and I'm too cheap to do that.
Just the fact that Florida's unemployment is low doesn't tell the whole story. Hurricane-related employment, real estate-fueled employment, and a booming McJobs market all contributed to lower unemployment overall.
Take the real estate employment for example: Nationwide, real estate-related industries accounted for 9.7% of domestic job growth (realtors, brokers, builders, appraisers, etc.) and we know how big the boom has hit Florida. One only need look at the swelling inventories on the market in the last few months to know the Florida real estate market is cooling off. As a result some of the real estate-related jobs are already starting to go away. Washington Mutual closed a home loan processing center in Lake Worth, FL (180 jobs) and will close a smaller one in Tampa; Countrywide closed a loan office in Sunrise (105 jobs). These jobs will be absorbed into the job market (LOTS of help wanted signs out there), but will the McJobs being offered pay enough to support the lifestyles they've come to know and love over the last 5 years?
To measure success, one must look at both quantity and QUALITY
From what they did show of the methodology, they used high tech jobs creation as the quality jobs variable in their study (though I'm not sure how it was weighted) and also used overall salary growth as a variable. So it's more than just counting the number of McJobs.