6 Best Cities for Starting Over in 2012 - Lincoln

"Things are really booming in parts of the Midwest right now," says Bert Sperling, of Sperling's BestPlaces. "If you take a map and draw a line from North Dakota straight south to Texas, that's where you're going to find areas that have really low unemployment."

Sperling recently analyzed the latest government data and found that five Midwestern cities and one Utah locale offer America's best combination of low joblessness and a high percentage of singles (i.e., people you can date after a divorce).

  • Sioux Falls, SD - The largest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls has just 5.5% unemployment and a 15.7% singles rate (America's19th-highest).
  • Lawton, OK / Logan, UT - Lawton combines a low 5.6% jobless rate with a high 15.9% singles rate. Logan, Utah, boasts just 5.7% unemployment and a 16.4% singles percentage.
  • Lincoln, NE - Lincoln has only 4.1% unemployment - the lowest rate for any U.S. city.
  • Fargo, ND - North Dakota's agricultural, mining and oil-and-gas industries are booming, helping to give Fargo the nation's third-lowest jobless rate - 4.5%. North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University at Moorhead across the state line also contribute to Fargo's economy, as well as to its 15.9% singles rate (America's 14th-highest).
  • Iowa City, IA - This city is home to the University of Iowa, which helps contribute to its 4.7% jobless rate and 16.1% singles population. Located on the Iowa River, Iowa City served as Iowa's territorial capital from 1841 to 1857, and the Old Capitol Building is still a local landmark.

"A low unemployment rate is a pretty good sign that a city's economy is doing well, while a large singles population is an indication of a community's vibrancy," he says. "In any metro area, singles are the hope for the future."



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