Plenty of Work, But No Jobs

Forbes just published the Best Cities for Jobs 2007 and not one Great Lakes cities falls in the Top 25 listing. Another gloomy sign for a mega region whose higher education system turns out some of the world's top talent. But risks losing them more and more.

Generating jobs in the knowledge economy, and retaining that creative class of people, requires much more aggressive investment in cities and mass transit; environmental restoration and quality of life; educational preparedness; as well as cutting edge clean and green industries.

In other words, building places where people can thrive, rather than sink into depression while stuck in a traffic jam looking at the rusting manufacturing plants along once glorious waterfronts.

Forbes rankings are based on five measures: job growth, unemployment rate, income growth, cost of living, and median household income. Raleigh, NC, Phoenix, AZ, and Jacksonville, FL round out the top three. Cities like Omaha, NE, Little Rock, AK, and Oklahoma City, OK are 15, 17, and 21 respectively.

And the first Great Lakes city doesnt appear until #28. Hooray for Minneapolis, MN. After that, it's Indianapolis #41 and Lake County, IL - Kenosha County, WI #48. Meaning just three metro regions from the greater Great Lakes made the top 50.

Great Lakes cities did, however, basically sweep the rankings through the 90's. Here's who all landed in the Top 100:

#56 Cincinnati, OH
#59 Rochester, NY
#61 Akron, OH
#65 Columbus, OH
#73 Buffalo, NY
#76 Pittsburgh, PA
#81 St. Louis, MO
#82 Chicago, IL
#84 Gary, IN
#92 Cleveland, ON
#93 Grand Rapids, MI
#94 Milwaukee, WI
#95 Dayton, OH
#96 Toledo, OH
#97 Warren, MI
#98 Youngstown, OH
#100 Detroit

Illustrating the sorry economic state of Michigan, in particular, the Motor City could perceive making the Top 100 as good news.