Here is Where the Job Gains Are Concentrated

Article originally posted on Globe St. on June 23, 2023

Employment gains in top national markets continue to stay strong, per Bureau of Labor Statistics data that showed gains neared almost 350,000 jobs last month, even as unemployment climbed to 3.7% from 3.4%, an indication that those looking for a job want to rejoin the workforce, according to a RealPage Analytics post. And the country’s top markets demonstrate this trend, also as growth slows.

The total number of jobs gained in the top 10 markets tracked for the year ending in May was about 13,000 more jobs than the prior month of April, which represented a slight increase of 1.3%. Moreover, only one of the top 10 markets for annual job gains in May saw a decrease in employment from April’s not seasonally adjusted levels.

What were the top metro area leaders for job creation as of the end of May 2023? New York-White Plains, N.Y. came in first, followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, and then Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, also in Texas. Coming in fourth was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., and fifth, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Penn, N.J., Del., market.

Interestingly, nine of April’s top 10 markets made the list again with the first six holding their places but a few others changing how they fared.

Specifically, New York had 212,600 new jobs ending May, up 3,000 from April but more than 266,000 fewer than a year ago. Dallas also stayed at the No. 2 spot with an annual gain of almost 122,000 jobs but about 76,000 fewer than a year ago and almost 5,000 less than the prior April’s annual total.

Other worthy notes are that Houston remained in No. 3 and Los Angeles in No. 4, adding almost 98,000 jobs though it still showed slowing. More key is that it’s the first time L.A. fell below the 100,000-job gains level since the pandemic recovery began.

Farther down the list, Tampa moved up one spot this month to No. 9 with 63,300 jobs gained for the year, only 21,500 jobs fewer than last year and 6,200 more jobs than last month’s annual gain. Washington, D.C., knocked Seattle off the top 10 list as it gained 62,000 jobs for the year and also improved by 6,600 jobs from the prior month of April.

Only three markets had annual job gains of 100,000 or more, one fewer than in April. Another 13 markets gained between 50,000 and 99,999 jobs, three more than last month. Denver, Providence, R.I., Fayetteville, N.C. and Eugene, Ore., reported an annual job loss from last May, one more market than in April.

And two factoids many may not know is that the energy-dependent market of Midland/Odessa, Texas, continued to lead the nation for percentage growth at 6.8%, down 30 basis points (bps) from last month, and Charleston, S.C., returned at No. 2 with 5.9% growth, which was down 50 bps from April.

More Southern markets showed growth but also with some slowing. The college town Fayetteville, Ark., remained in the third spot with 5% growth, down 30 bps from last month. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C., stayed in the fourth spot with 4.7% growth, also down 30 bps from April. And San Antonio moved up to the fifth spot with 4.6% job growth, gaining 40 bps for the month.

The largest decreases among the top 11 were in Las Vegas (-720 bps), Midland/Odessa (-320 bps) and Dallas (-310 bps).

And the weakest major markets for percentage growth are still primarily in the industrial Midwest and Mountain West. Major markets with sub-1% growth include Denver, Milwaukee, Toledo, Memphis, Cleveland and Akron. Sub-1.5% growth major markets include Riverside, Tucson, Baltimore, Birmingham, Omaha, St. Louis and Columbus.