SLOW AND STEADY SEEMS TO BE THE key to winning the employment game, as metro areas in developing states such as Arizona, Utah, and Idaho overshadow typically hot markets on the coasts. Idaho Commerce and Labor Department's communications manager Bob Fick says that a growing population and a diverse economy has kept area employment steadily rising. “When Southern California goes belly up, they all come here,” he says. Retirees and entertainment-seekers also are driving employment growth in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada, while markets at the fringes of the Washington, D.C. and New York/New Jersey areas also are keeping pace.

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