By Jami Gibson

Area Development Online recently released their “Leading Locations of 2013,” a ranked list of 380 MSAs, to determine the leading cities/regions that are recovering from the recession the quickest based on economic and workforce data. These Top 10 MSAs have done a great job growing their economies, and hence, are reaping the rewards of job growth and investment.

Lafayette, LA
Lafayette has experienced growth in energy and healthcare, two industries on which the recession had little impact. The investment from companies, such as Louisiana Plating and Coatings, have created job growth and wage growth.

Fargo, ND-MN
This MSA has had growth in many sectors including manufacturing, IT, and back office, which has kept unemployment low compared to the national rate during the recession. The area also boasts three higher-education institutions that offer training programs for these industries to ensure their workforce for the future.

Odessa, TX
Oil and gas and healthcare are the foundation of this city’s economy. Local colleges and universities help support these industries, and investments from large companies like Chevron and Pioneer Natural Resources will secure and grow jobs.

Columbus, IN
The city has experienced much foreign direct investment, especially from Japan, because of its expertise in engineering and manufacturing. This has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs over the last several years.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Home to Silicon Valley, this MSA has an abundance of innovators, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. Top universities in the area attract students who become the future of the workforce at these local high-tech companies.

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
Life sciences, biotechnology, and data centers are just a few of the many industries that make up the diversified economy of this MSA. Several large companies such as Samsung, Apple, and eBay are planning multi-million dollar expansions, which will lead to job growth for years to come.

Midland, TX
The energy economy is what fuels this city. A new skyscraper is in the works to bring more retail shops, restaurants, and commercial and residential real estate to the area, which will create job growth. XCOR also plans to build a new R&D center which will bring high-paying jobs to the area.

Holland-Grand Haven, MI
The Holland-Grand Haven MSA, stretching along the coast of Lake Michigan, is home to many innovative companies. In terms of patent applications per capita, the area boasts twice the national average. In the past few years, LG Chem, Johnson Controls, and Haworth have all made huge investments in Holland, resulting in job creation.

Framingham, MA
The only city in the top 10 on the East Coast specializes in advanced manufacturing and biotech, two rapidly growing industries. Local universities and colleges have programs in place that train students for work in these types of industries. High-growth industries and a talented workforce in turn create high-paying jobs and a great quality of life.

Bismarck, ND
This city creates its talent pipeline by partnering with local colleges to help meet employment needs. The area has experienced job growth in high-tech industries, but the economy is also diversified in industries such as coal, natural gas, healthcare, and food products.

Source: All info from Area Development Online <>