Lafayette ranks No. 10 in newgeography.com's list of the Best Cities in the medium sized cities category. In the list of large cities, the New Orleans/Metairie/Kenner market ranks 13.

The rankings emphasize the robustness of a region's employment growth based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports of monthly employment data for MSAs. The ranking is based on three-month rolling averages of the bureau's "state and area" unadjusted employment data reported from November 1996 to January 2008, according to the Web site.

The data reflect the North American Industry Classification System categories, including total nonfarm employment, manufacturing, financial services, business and professional services, educational and health services, information, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality and government.

In the medium market rankings, Baton Rouge is 15, and Shreveport/Bossier City is 22. In the small cities list, Houma-Thibodaux is 22.

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