Top 10: Metros Exceed Job Growth Expectations

The U.S. economy has enjoyed steady job growth in recent years, but some cities are capturing a larger share of total job creation than others, thanks in large part to factors unique to their local economies, according to new research from CareerBuilder and Emsi.

Using a standard regional analysis called shift share, CareerBuilder and Emsi discovered which metros are exceeding industry trends the most – and which ones are lagging behind. The study looked at the total job growth across industries for each of the 150 most populous U.S. metros from 2014 to 2015. Each metro’s actual job growth was then compared to what would have been expected for that metro based on national job growth trends during that same time period. The difference between the two measurements is the competitive effect — in other words, how much the metro is exceeding, matching or falling behind national job growth trends because of something unique to the regional economy.

Top 10: Metros Exceed Job Growth Expectations
Dallas, Texas. (Credit: John Foxx)

For example, from 2014 to 2015, total U.S. employment grew 2 percent. At that rate, Dallas would be expected to add 67,959 jobs; however, Dallas surpassed expectations and added 112,829 jobs. While 67,959 of those jobs could be attributed to national growth trends, the additional 44,871 jobs indicates there are regional market dynamics at play that caused Dallas to outpace the national growth average.

The 10 Most Competitive MSAs

The following 10 metros grabbed the biggest share of job creation between 2014 and 2015. The figure in parenthesis indicates the percentage of total employment due to the MSA’s competitive effect. For example, while Dallas most exceeded job growth expectations, San Jose had the highest percentage among these 10 metros of total employment (3.7 percent) that can be traced to regional competitiveness.

  1. Dallas, TX (1.3%)
  2. San Jose, CA (3.7%)
  3. Los Angeles, CA (0.7%)
  4. Seattle, WA (2.0%)
  5. Miami, FL (1.3%)
  6. Atlanta, GA (1.2%)
  7. Orlando, FL (2.4%)
  8. San Francisco, CA (1.o%)
  9. Riverside, CA (1.6%)
  10. Charlotte, NC (1.7%)

Among the 150 largest metros, Provo-Orem, Utah, had the highest percentage of total jobs linked to regional competitiveness (4.8 percent). San Jose was second, followed by Orlando (2.4 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (2.3 percent) and Grand Rapids, MI (2.2 percent).

“Twenty-seven of the top 50 metros outperformed national employment growth from 2014 to 2015, which can have a positive ripple effect on other regional areas,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “The unique characteristics of their local economies played a large part in their growth, such as the booming tech industry in Silicon Valley or the tourism industry in Orlando. Meanwhile, jobs in the oil and gas industry took a hit, which had a major impact on the cities like Tulsa and Lafayette, which ranked at the bottom of our list. And even though major metros such as Chicago, New York and Philadelphia all added more than 30,000 new jobs from 2014 to 2015, they trailed national growth trends.”

The analysis uses Emsi’s labor market database, which pulls from over 90 national and state employment resources and includes detailed information on employees and self-employed workers.