New BLS numbers released on Friday indicate that approximately 243,000 jobs were created in January, driving the nation’s unemployment rate down (by 0.2 percent) to 8.3 percent. These are the strongest month growth numbers the nation has posted since March 2011. Last May through August, monthly job growth figures failed to break the 100,000 threshold. It was bleak. This month’s numbers represent the continuation of four months of steady month-over-month job growth. In January, notable gains were made in the professional and business services (+70,000), manufacturing (50,000), leisure and hospitality (+44,000), and health care (+31,000) sectors.
With communities vying to put people back to work, attract private investment, and close the chapter of the Great Recession, the web is flush with analysis on which communities have picked up momentum and which have not. Most of what is out there focuses on metro-level data, since monthly employment figures are not provided at the county-level. That said, here are a few highlights:
American City Business Journals analysis
One-year private sector job growth rankings for the 100 largest metros
- Top five (by % change): Ogden, Utah; Akron, Ohio; Houston, Texas; San Jose, California; Provo, Utah.
- Bottom five (by % change): Albuquerque, New Mexico; Augusta, Georgia; Richmond, Virginia; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Palm Bay-Melbourne, Florida.
- Top five (by % change): New Orleans, Louisiana; McAllen-Edinburg, Texas; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; El Paso, Texas.
- Bottom five (by % change): Las Vegas, Nevada; Palm Bay-Melbourne, Florida; Riverside-San Bernardino, California; Brandenton-Sarasota, Florida; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida.
- Only 13 of the nation's 100 largest metros have regained all of the jobs lost during the recession. “The other 87 are still fighting to break even.”
Urban Institute’s Metro Trends
Job trends since recession end for the 100 largest metros
An analysis of this data done by The Atlantic Cities shows top ranking metro by sector:
- Total private sector job growth: Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan (4.7%)
- Wholesale trade: Austin-Round Rock, Texas (10.0%)
- Financial activities: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (4.4%)
- Retail trade: El Paso, Texas (7.3%)
- Trade, transportation, and utilities: El Paso, Texas (5.9%)
- Professional and business services: Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, South Carolina (22.7%)
- Manufacturing: Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan (23.3%)
- Information: New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana (23.9%)
- Education and health services: Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona (15.1%)
- Leisure and hospitality: Worcester, Massachusetts (8.7%)
- Other services: Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin (12.7%)
- Government: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee (14.0%)