THE JOB BELT: The Fifty Best Places in America for High Quality Employment--Today and in the Future by Joseph & Amy Lombardo Lombardo

THE JOB BELT: The Fifty Best Places in America for High Quality Employment--Today and in the Future

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While the subtitle of this slapdash directory promises America's 50 best places for gainful employment, the authors claim to catalog only 50 of the best. Within this arbitrary context, moreover, they offer mainly raw data which is, at best, iffy guidance. The Lombardos (both involved in personnel work in New York City, a non-starter in the text at hand) own to having made their geographic choices in consultation with employment services (public and private) and other regional sources. The principal criteria for inclusion were openings and advancement opportunities for ""professional, technical, and management people."" Not too surprisingly, there is a wealth of entries from Sunbelt states: Phoenix, Anaheim, Tampa, Atlanta, and Charlotte (NC), among others. Northerly locales are represented as well, including: Hartford, CT; Lowell, MA; Westchester County, NY; and Salt Lake City. Each area's profile encompasses a sketchy introductory commentary, plus bare-bones rundowns on climate, educational institutions, health-care facilities, recreation, transportation, and related matters as well as the local economy, population trends, and the employment situation. Unfortunately, there's a lack of uniformity in these key statistics, which are presented as is from government sources. To illustrate, projections of employment demand for Oklahoma City and Tulsa cover the 1982-90 period; those for Silicon Valley outposts (which have been overtaken by hard times in recent months) run only from 1980 through 1985. The authors offer the results of their own surveys for selected occupations, but these generalized guesstimates of demand (i.e., average-to-high, average-to-low, low) lack time frames and otherwise raise as many questions as they answer. Also troublesome is the evident faith the Lombardos put in the responses provided by local employment agencies (whose names, addresses, and phone numbers are posted along with their occupational specialties in each metropolitan listing). Suffice it to say that credibility and probity do not rank among placement firms' longer suits. Other than as a starting point, then, a haphazard reference with little substantive value for serious job hunters.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1985
Publisher: Penguin