MarketWatch has released its annual list of the top 10 U.S. cities for business, and topping the 2009 list -- of all places -- is Des Moines, Iowa. The Midwestern crossroads city wasn't a runaway favorite among any of MarketWatch's 10 criteria for selecting a winner, but it happened to score highly enough in just about every category to handily beat the competition.
Among the 101 cities eligible for the survey, Des Moines scored the third-lowest unemployment rate, at 6% in September. It did worst in the category of nearby Fortune 1000 companies. But the Des Moines area sports quite a few financial-services and insurance companies, including Principal Financial
Rounding out the top three are seemingly recession-proof Washington, D.C. (talk about government jobs galore!), and Omaha, Neb., home of Berkshire Hathaway
So, Fools: Is farm livin' the life for you? Would you pack it all up for a chance to land a job in the middle of nowhere? Or do you think the MarketWatch folks are crazy? What other parts of the country do you know of that hold some positive economic surprises? Give us a piece of your mind in the comments box below.
Having grown up surrounded by Midwestern cornfields, Fool online editor Adrian Rush knows all about living in the middle of nowhere. He has no position in any of the stocks mentioned in this story. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which is also a Stock Advisor and Inside Value recommendation. If you build it, the Fool's disclosure policy will come.