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Who's hiring: Transportation & utilities, Finance, Professional & business services
Percent companies planning to hire in Q3: 21 percent
Population: 5,867,489 (+2.5 percent YOY)
Unemployment rate: 8.3 percent
Mean annual income: $44,880
The Houston area has performed better than many job markets during the recession and the population continues to grow. According to the Conference Board, there were 77,400 online ads for jobs in the area in June, up 38.3 percent from a year earlier. The Greater Houston Partnership, a business organization, expects the wholesale trade sector (driven by demand in Asian economies) to add 5,200 jobs, administrative and support services to create 5,400 jobs, and the public sector to grow by 4,100 jobs. Meanwhile, the group projects the construction and upstream energy industries to remain weak.