Historically, the Highlands has been known for out-migration
The Highlands have been described as "one of modern Britain's success stories", by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Des Browne.
He told a breakfast meeting of Inverness Chamber of Commerce the region and Inverness now boasted a "new dynamism".
Mr Browne, who had a series of engagements in the area, said most people of working age were employed.
Historically, the Highlands has suffered from out-migration.
This has seen young people leaving to find places at university or jobs.
Mr Browne told the chamber of commerce: "From a situation of out-migration and unemployment, the Highlands now boasts a new dynamism.
"A bustling area which many have chosen to make their home in recent years provides evidence of that."