Thursday, May 21, 2009

Forbes Likes Charlottesville

Forbes magazine has published a survey of what it calls the "top 20 college towns for jobs" and metropolitan Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia and nearby Piedmont Virginia Community College, made the list.

Provo, Utah, where Brigham Young University is located, ranked first, while Charlottesville and UVA came in eleventh.

Forbes' correspondent, Matt Woolsey, writes:

We defined "college towns" as U.S. metropolitan statistical area and metropolitan divisions--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget used by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics--where employment from universities, four-year colleges, two-year community colleges and university medical teaching hospitals supplied 2% or more of area jobs. Jobs created at for-profit universities and strictly Internet-based universities were not counted. Using Data from Moody’s, we looked at year-over-year job growth in each college town. While jobs in the U.S. as a whole shrunk by 3.5% from March 2008 to March 2009, there were 62 college towns that experienced job growth.

Our list includes plenty of idyllic college communities, such as Charlottesville, Va., home to the University of Virginia and its grand Jeffersonian architecture, where 12.7% of metropolitan residents are employed by the university, and jobs are up 2.47%; as well as Athens, Ga., where you’ll find the University of Georgia and more than enough bars and music venues to entertain its 35,000 students. Employment in Athens is also up 2.47% for a year ago. Also on the list, however, were bigger metros like Seattle (2.19%) and Oklahoma City (1.51%), where clusters of large universities have continued to create jobs through the downturn.

One surprise on the list: Jonesboro, Arkansas, ranked number 19. One surprise because it's not on the list: Madison, Wisconsin.

Here is the profile of Charlottesville from Forbes:
No. 11. College Town: Charlottesville, Va.
(Metro area: Charlottesville, Va.)
Primary university: University of Virginia
Percentage of workers in university jobs: 12.7%
Job growth since 2008: 2.05%

Data from Moody’s

Let me be just a bit critical of In order to see all the towns on the list, a reader must go through 20 pages of a slide show, and each page takes an excruciatingly long time to load. I realize that Forbes wants to have more page views and more eyes to offer its advertisers, but this format is really user-unfriendly. It makes me reluctant to return to see similar stories in the future, and that makes it advertiser-unfriendly, too.

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