The United States has created more than 10 million jobs in the past four years. Over this time, the unemployment rate fell from 8.2% to 4.9%, the lowest in nearly a decade.
24/7 Wall St. compared the most recent employment levels in U.S. metro areas with levels four years ago. With the economic recovery, the vast majority of metro areas report at least some job growth over this time. In some cities, the number of jobs has grown dramatically. Employment levels in nine metro areas grew by at least 15%, and in Bend-Redmond, Oregon, the four-year employment growth of 20.9% was the fastest in the country.
Despite the nationwide trend, job markets in some cities did not improve. Most notable was the 6.8% decline in the number of jobs in Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey over the past four years, the largest decline in the nation.
Job gains, or losses, in an area are usually tied to particular industries — typically the nation’s largest. Health care and social assistance, retail trade, state and local government, and the professional and business services sectors are the nation’s major industry employers.
> Employment increase: 11.3%
> No. of jobs June 2012: 841,201
> No. of jobs June 2016: 936,463
> Unemployment rate June 2016: 3.5%
The professional and business services sector was among the primary drivers of job growth, accounting for the most jobs added in seven of the 25 cities with the most job growth.
To identify the cities with the highest job growth, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed metropolitan statistical areas with the largest changes in employment — the number of jobs from June 2012 through June 2016. Unemployment rates, the size of the labor force, and employment levels are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households jointly administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and U.S. Census Bureau. Industry-specific growth rates for the same period are from the Current Employment Survey (CES), also from the BLS.