According to a recent survey, the recovery is in full swing in America’s largest cities. Last week, Gallup released results of its Job Creation Index for the 50 largest metropolitan regions in the United States. The results showed that companies in every city were hiring more often than they were firing. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the nine U.S. metropolitan regions where workers think hiring is strongest.

An examination of these cities suggests that workers have reason to be confident. The vast majority had among the best employment conditions in the country. Nearly every city had either excellent current employment rates, major declines in unemployment rates in the past year, or both.

This content was originally published on 24/7 Wall St.

The Job Creation Index scores assigned by Gallup reflect the difference between the number of workers reporting their businesses were hiring compared to those who believed people were being let go. According to the report, these nine cities received Job Creation Index scores of 20 or better, meaning the percentage of employees who believed their companies were hiring was at least 20% more than those who believed their employers were looking to makes cuts to the payroll.

Of these nine cities, six had unemployment rates well below the national average of 8.3%. Richmond, Va., reported an unemployment rate of 6.6% in January. Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate of 5.9% is the seventh-lowest among the 100 largest cities in the U.S.

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While a low unemployment rate can make a worker feel positive about his or her job market, having a low rate does not mean employers are hiring at a faster rate than the rest of the country. Declines in unemployment show that the number of unemployed are decreasing, usually because corporations are increasing the number of people on their payroll. According to the report, six of the these cities’ unemployment rates improved a great deal, falling more than 10% in the past year alone.

Most of these cities’ labor markets remained fairly stable during the recession with relatively few job losses. Five of the nine either will almost recover or will have fully recovered jobs lost during the recession by the fourth quarter of 2012.

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In addition to Gallup’s Job Creation Index, 24/7 Wall St. examined unemployment data from January 2011 and January 2012, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Declines in employment from prerecession peaks and projected recovery of jobs by the fourth quarter of 2012 also were considered, based on analysis by IHS Global Insight.

These are nine cities where jobs are booming.

9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.1%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.7%

According to 36% of those surveyed in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan region, the city is hiring. That is among the highest rates in the 50 cities included in Gallup’s poll. In the past year, the unemployment rate in the region fell from 10.8% to 9.1%. While the current unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, the improvement was one of the biggest in the country.

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8. San Antonio, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.3%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -6.4%

San Antonio is tied with Houston and Memphis for having the greatest share of residents who report employers are hiring, at 38%. Although the city’s economy has suffered quite a bit in recent years, it is currently doing quite well. All of the jobs lost during the recession will have been recovered by the end of 2012, and some new ones will have been added as well. San Antonio is rated first on Milken Institute’s list of metropolitan areas that are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -12.6%

From its prerecession peak, Houston lost just 4.6% of jobs, one of the smallest percentages among America’s largest metropolitan region. By the end of this year, the Houston area is projected to more than recover all of the jobs it has lost. The unemployment rate in Houston fell by 12.6% since January 2011 to January 2012. And at 7.6% it is now among the lowest in the country. However, only 18% of those surveyed believed their company was in the process of firing people.

6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.2%
> Change in unemployment (Jan, 2011 – Jan. 2012): -10.7%

The Atlanta metropolitan area lost just under 9% of its jobs from its prerecession peak to trough — a large amount relative to the country’s other large metro areas. By the fourth quarter of 2012, the region will have recovered less than 20% of those jobs, which is one of the nation’s smallest percentages. Despite this, the region has one of the largest percentages of workers reporting hiring by their employers, and one of the highest overall Job Creation Index scores.

5. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
> Job creation index: 21
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.5%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.2%

The Orlando Metropolitan statistical area still has a higher unemployment rate than the majority of large U.S. cities. However, since the end of 2011, unemployment has improved dramatically, falling from 11.2% to 9.5%. According to the survey, 37% of the area’s residents believe their company is hiring, while just 16% believe their company is letting people go.

9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.1%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.7%

According to 36% of those surveyed in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan region, the city is hiring. That is among the highest rates in the 50 cities included in Gallup’s poll. In the past year, the unemployment rate in the region fell from 10.8% to 9.1%. While the current unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, the improvement was one of the biggest in the country.

8. San Antonio, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.3%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -6.4%

San Antonio is tied with Houston and Memphis for having the greatest share of residents who report employers are hiring, at 38%. Although the city’s economy has suffered quite a bit in recent years, it is currently doing quite well. All of the jobs lost during the recession will have been recovered by the end of 2012, and some new ones will have been added as well. San Antonio is rated first on Milken Institute’s list of metropolitan areas that are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

7. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Tex.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -12.6%

From its prerecession peak, Houston lost just 4.6% of jobs, one of the smallest percentages among America’s largest metropolitan region. By the end of this year, the Houston area is projected to more than recover all of the jobs it has lost. The unemployment rate in Houston fell by 12.6% since January 2011 to January 2012. And at 7.6% it is now among the lowest in the country. However, only 18% of those surveyed believed their company was in the process of firing people.

6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
> Job creation index: 20
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.2%
> Change in unemployment (Jan, 2011 – Jan. 2012): -10.7%

The Atlanta metropolitan area lost just under 9% of its jobs from its prerecession peak to trough — a large amount relative to the country’s other large metro areas. By the fourth quarter of 2012, the region will have recovered less than 20% of those jobs, which is one of the nation’s smallest percentages. Despite this, the region has one of the largest percentages of workers reporting hiring by their employers, and one of the highest overall Job Creation Index scores.

5. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
> Job creation index: 21
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 9.5%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -15.2%

The Orlando Metropolitan statistical area still has a higher unemployment rate than the majority of large U.S. cities. However, since the end of 2011, unemployment has improved dramatically, falling from 11.2% to 9.5%. According to the survey, 37% of the area’s residents believe their company is hiring, while just 16% believe their company is letting people go.

4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.2%
> Change in unemployment (Jan, 2011 – Jan. 2012): -18.2%

The unemployment rate of 7.2% in the Nashville metropolitan area is significantly lower than the national rate of 8.3%. In addition, the region will have recovered 92.4% of the jobs it lost during the recession by the fourth quarter of 2012. This is among the country’s greatest postrecession improvements.

3. Richmond, Va.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 6.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -13.2%

Since January 2011, the unemployment rate in the Richmond area has fallen to just 6.6%. According to those surveyed in the Gallup study, 36% of workers believe their businesses are hiring, while just 14% believe their employers are letting people go. This may be reflected in the city’s high general economic confidence. Richmond recently scored fifth highest among the nation’s 50 largest cities in that category.

2. Pittsburgh, Pa.
> Job creation index: 22
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 7.6%
> Change in unemployment (Jan 2011 – Jan. 2012): -6.2%

Pittsburgh is another one of the metropolitan areas that will recover all of the jobs it lost during the recession by the fourth quarter of 2012. It also is projected to add some additional positions. Residents of the area seem to be taking notice as 37% report that their employers are hiring. The metropolitan area currently has an unemployment rate of 7.6%, down from 8.1% one year ago.

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
> Job creation index: 25
> Unemployment rate (Jan. 2012): 5.9%
> Change in unemployment (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012): -3.3%

Of those surveyed in Oklahoma City, 37% reported their company was hiring, while 12% believed people were being let go — the lowest level in the country. The Oklahoma City MSA is one of the best places for jobs right now, as the unemployment rate of 5.9% is one of the lowest in the country. The region will have restored all of the jobs it lost during the recession by the end of 2012. The local economy has fared better than most cities. The unemployment rate was as low as 6.1% in January 2011, significantly lower than the national rate.