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Want to go where the growth is? Try these ‘Cities on the Rise’

Is a place really “on the rise” if it’s struggling? That’s the potential contradiction in NerdWallet’s recent study of New Jersey’s “Cities on the Rise.”The San Francisco-based consumer advocacy site studied 131 locations across the Garden State with populations of 10,000 or more to determine where the best job opportunities are, ranking the Top 20 based on factors including population growth, employment growth and income growth.

The list — revealed earlier this month — came with a caveat, however.

“Even with a strong economy, New Jersey lags behind its potential,” NerdWallet said in its article on the rankings. “The state has struggled to recover from the recession as it battles a (6.5 percent) unemployment rate that is above the national average. New Jersey also has weathered successive credit downgrades that could slow future investment in the state’s infrastructure.”

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On the other hand, even if NerdWallet’s analysis found some other head-shaking factors, such as lagging job growth and high taxes, it also found some trends worth cheering. They include residents’ rising income and a diverse statewide economy — “one of the most varied yet in NerdWallet’s analysis.”

That prompted at least one town to tout its place in the rankings.

“We are so glad to be recognized as a City on the Rise by NerdWallet.com,” Haddonfield Mayor Jeff Kasko said in a news release. “As residents and businesspeople of the borough, we have always recognized Haddonfield as a thriving and wonderful community in which to live, work and play; now NerdWallet.com consumers will recognize it as well.”

Here are NerdWallet’s Top 20 New Jersey Cities on the Rise:

20. Elmwood Park
19. Secaucus
18. Millville
17. Jersey City
16. Hoboken
15. Haddonfield
14. West New York
13. Little Ferry
12. Tenafly
11. Summit
10. Gloucester City
9. Somerset
8. Bayonne
7. North Plainfield
6. Glen Rock
5. Bridgeton
4. Hammonton
3. Williamstown
2. Lakewood
1. Edgewater

For the complete survey results, click here.

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Eric Strauss

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