Bakersfield may seem an unlikely source of a Central Valley location, but a town often thought of only as dusty and near a freeway is leading the nation in construction growth and has nearly recovered all the jobs its lost in the recession.

In 2007, the city had 239,600 jobs; they lag that number by just 5,600 today. The growth in their job market has coincided with continued growth in its population, meaning that the unemployment percentage has not been drastically affected. However, that doesn’t mean things aren’t substantially better.

Due to a variety of factors – including cheap land, vicinity to Downtown Los Angeles and the Port, an economy fueled by mining and energy – companies are investing in massive infrastructure. Caterpillar, the industrial machining giant, developed a 40-acre, 400,000-square foot distribution facility. Dollar General opened a similar operation. IKEA, Target, and Famous Footware are also located there.

Most impressive, perhaps, is the growth experienced in the City’s construction industry, where there has been nearly 23 percent growth in the last year, compared to roughly 5 percent statewide.

The bubble in the energy market, which could leave the City vulnerable to future bursts, has fueled many of the projects.

However, for now, the boom appears to be on.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.