It's been five years since the recession, and job creation is gaining traction. But one pocket of America is doing especially well in this recovery—the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.
The Twin Cities jobless rate of 4 percent for May is the lowest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan U.S. area, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released this week. So what's the Twin Cities got that's eluding other corners of the U.S.? A lot, actually.
There's a thriving start-up community that's building ventures on top of name-brand social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Some of the region's largest employers are in health care, which broadly has muscled through the downturn as aging Americans with more income seek better care. Adding to the area's good fortunes, the Twin Cities is feeling the ripple effects of the Bakken shale oil fields in the neighboring state of North Dakota.
"The stars seem to be aligning for us these days, they really [are]," said Louis Johnston, an associate economics professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University.
Rounding out the five major metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates are Austin, Texas, with a 4.1 percent rate; Columbus, Ohio, and Oklahoma City tied at 4.4 percent, and Boston with an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, according to the data.
In a separate report, private sector U.S. job creation surged in June, with companies adding a much-larger-than-expected 281,000 new positions, according to a report earlier Wednesday from ADP. Small businesses and the service sector led the gain in jobs.