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Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The 2012 Metro Year in Jobs

Last month the BLS put out the first official release of annual job data for metropolitan areas, so I wanted to take a brief look at this for large metro areas (more than one million in population, based on old metro area definitions that the BLS still uses). Here are the top 10 cities for percentage job growth. Nashville takes the crown. I’m also personally glad to see Indy bounce back after a couple tough years.

Rank (Best) Metropolitan Area 2011 2012 Pct Change
1 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 756.7 786.2 3.90%
2 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 2592.1 2691.4 3.83%
3 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 795.0 823.2 3.55%
4 Salt Lake City, UT 620.0 641.0 3.39%
5 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 876.4 905.2 3.29%
6 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 1917.2 1977.8 3.16%
7 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 825.1 850.3 3.05%
8 Raleigh-Cary, NC 506.9 521.9 2.96%
9 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 2932.2 3016.0 2.86%
10 Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 888.6 913.8 2.84%

Here are the bottom ten performers. The federal slowdown already appears to be hitting DC:

Rank (Worst) Geography 2011 2012 Pct Change
1 St. Louis, MO-IL 1298.7 1298.8 0.01%
2 Rochester, NY 510.1 513.2 0.61%
3 Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA – Metro 544.8 548.3 0.64%
4 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 543.5 547.0 0.64%
5 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 2707.4 2725.2 0.66%
6 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 815.5 821.4 0.72%
7 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 737.7 743.8 0.83%
8 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT – Metro 538.2 542.7 0.84%
9 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 525.1 529.7 0.88%
10 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 3007.6 3039.8 1.07%

And here is the complete list:

Row Metropolitan Areas 2011 2012 Total Change Pct Change
1 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 2306.0 2349.9 43.9 1.90%
2 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 795.0 823.2 28.2 3.55%
3 Baltimore-Towson, MD 1292.6 1317.8 25.2 1.95%
4 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 493.6 501.4 7.8 1.58%
5 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH – Metro 2459.5 2499.2 39.7 1.61%
6 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 543.5 547.0 3.5 0.64%
7 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 825.1 850.3 25.2 3.05%
8 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 4305.1 4369.2 64.1 1.49%
9 Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 990.1 1002.4 12.3 1.24%
10 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 1001.2 1016.6 15.4 1.54%
11 Columbus, OH 926.0 950.4 24.4 2.63%
12 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 2932.2 3016.0 83.8 2.86%
13 Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO 1213.6 1246.1 32.5 2.68%
14 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 1785.7 1826.8 41.1 2.30%
15 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT – Metro 538.2 542.7 4.5 0.84%
16 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 2592.1 2691.4 99.3 3.83%
17 Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 888.6 913.8 25.2 2.84%
18 Jacksonville, FL 586.8 595.6 8.8 1.50%
19 Kansas City, MO-KS 980.6 996.8 16.2 1.65%
20 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 808.2 823.6 15.4 1.91%
21 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 5165.8 5264.6 98.8 1.91%
22 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 598.0 610.9 12.9 2.16%
23 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 593.8 600.9 7.1 1.20%
24 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 2228.6 2278.2 49.6 2.23%
25 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 815.5 821.4 5.9 0.72%
26 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 1735.0 1766.4 31.4 1.81%
27 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 756.7 786.2 29.5 3.90%
28 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 525.1 529.7 4.6 0.88%
29 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 8418.2 8554.3 136.1 1.62%
30 Oklahoma City, OK 580.1 593.4 13.3 2.29%
31 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 1014.9 1040.3 25.4 2.50%
32 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 2707.4 2725.2 17.8 0.66%
33 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ 1715.6 1757.1 41.5 2.42%
34 Pittsburgh, PA 1144.9 1158.6 13.7 1.20%
35 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 987.8 1006.6 18.8 1.90%
36 Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA – Metro 544.8 548.3 3.5 0.64%
37 Raleigh-Cary, NC 506.9 521.9 15.0 2.96%
38 Richmond, VA 610.9 623.4 12.5 2.05%
39 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 1128.8 1151.6 22.8 2.02%
40 Rochester, NY 510.1 513.2 3.1 0.61%
41 Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA 808.6 822.5 13.9 1.72%
42 Salt Lake City, UT 620.0 641.0 21.0 3.39%
43 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 858.4 877.9 19.5 2.27%
44 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 1233.4 1258.8 25.4 2.06%
45 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 1917.2 1977.8 60.6 3.16%
46 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 876.4 905.2 28.8 3.29%
47 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 1671.3 1711.5 40.2 2.41%
48 St. Louis, MO-IL 1298.7 1298.8 0.1 0.01%
49 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 1129.7 1155.7 26.0 2.30%
50 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 737.7 743.8 6.1 0.83%
51 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 3007.6 3039.8 32.2 1.07%

17 Comments


17 Responses to “The 2012 Metro Year in Jobs”

  1. Chris Barnett says:

    It would be interesting to see change in personal income or metro GDP added to this table. Comparison of that with job growth would indicate in aggregate if the new jobs are above average for the metro, and thus raising the mean income.

    If income growth is substantially lower than job growth, the rising tide isn’t lifting all boats, and the new jobs aren’t as powerful in driving the local economy as if the opposite condition occurs.

  2. the urban politician says:

    Wow, looks like your “new second city” of Metro DC seems to have burned off some of that stardust…

  3. TUP, you may recall that I did say in the short to medium term DC would experience headwinds from federal fiscal retrenchment. I suspect worse is yet to come here. I don’t think it changes the macrotrend.

  4. the urban politician says:

    Interestingly, only 3 metros grew more jobs than Chicago from 2011-2012. 2 of them are larger metros than Chicago, and the third one, of course, is Houston

  5. the urban politician says:

    Oops, I left out Dallas as well..

  6. Matthew Hall says:

    I suspect, that a listing of average wages and changes in wages by MSA would reveal a surprisingly different picture. How hard would that be to do?

  7. Brett says:

    @TUP,
    If you add San Francisco and San Jose together, their total beats Chicago as well. The Bay Area functions as one polycentric metro. I don’t know why Census insists on separating the north and south Bay.

  8. Scott Beyer says:

    Although I’d have to study this more to speak authoritatively, it seems at first glance that most the top 10 come from pro-growth states, and most the bottom 10 from states notorious for taxing and regulating. The outliers?–San Jose and SF have certain natural and cultural advantages, dating back decades, that not even California’s dysfunctional legislature can inhibit. And I have no explanation for Va. Beach, except maybe that it’s been hit by defense cuts. Either way, I think a trend can be detected here on how public policy effects job growth.

  9. Chris Barnett says:

    San Diego, Sacramento and the combined LA-Orange County-Riverside-San Bernardino (same logic as the Bay Area…you can’t divide the polycentric LA urbanized area either) are solidly mid-range.

    The four California metros aren’t too far behind Florida, in the same range as almost-anything-goes Las Vegas, and well ahead of the Rust Belt (Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Hartford, Providence, Pittsburgh).

    California’s metros added 250,000 jobs compared to 231,000 for the four big Texas metros (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio). No California metro is in the bottom 10, and I’d say that kind of blows the “tax and regulate” vs. “pro-growth” argument, as Texas and California are often held up as the polar opposites on that scale.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hartford and Providence aren’t in the rust belt.

  11. Peter Brassard says:

    In a sense that’s true, but Providence in particular has a classic rust belt economy very much the same as Midwestern or western Upstate New York and Pennsylvania cities.

  12. MSam says:

    urban, gross numbers aren’t the base factor you want to look at unless it is a number much higher than what that threshold should be for instance Dallas or Houston. New York should add more than LA, LA should add more than Chicago and Chicago should add more than Atlanta, all things being equal due to population size difference. Larger populations should always add more just because. Dallas and Houston added more than what their base should have which points to strong local economies whereas St. Louis obviously added less than what they should have (population base should put them on par with Baltimore). Growth percentage is the key component here.

  13. Chris Barnett says:

    MSam, nothing grows to the sky. As a metro grows and matures, its percentage growth in population and jobs will tail off and past a certain point the absolute numbers are relevant. We can’t call 250,000 jobs added in four California major metros “anemic” if no other state’s metros added more, or assert that California’s purported “tax-spend-regulate” climate drives jobs out.

    My point in highlighting raw numbers was to show that the four large California metros are still adding more jobs than the four large Texas metros in that specific context.

    I understand your “fair share” argument, that we should measure each metro against a theoretical mean number of new jobs. But I argue those “acceleration” type numbers for a single year don’t measure anything policy-based. That type of comparison is more applicable over a 5 or 10 year period, the same way we measure investment funds…through an up and down cycle.

  14. I’d be interested in hearing the argument for why Hartford/Providence (Springfield/Fall River/Bridgeport/Syracuse etc etc etc) aren’t in the Rust Belt… The only thing I can think of is that it’s an attempt to dodge the stigma. I agree with Peter Brassard: they share all the characteristics of Rust Belt that Cleveland/Buffalo/Erie do.

  15. Just Sayin says:

    @ Chris Barnett, more direct comparisons look more favorable to Texas relative to California than how you presented it.

    Let’s order all nine metros from both TX and CA in order of percent growth from the complete list above:

    1. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 3.83%
    2. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 3.55%
    3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 3.29%
    4. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 3.16%
    5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 2.86%%
    6. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2.27%
    7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 2.06%
    8. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 2.02%
    9. Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA 1.72%

    The highest performing two metros of those nine are both in TX.
    The lowest three metros of those nine are all in CA.

    Statewide, employment growth in Texas from 2011 to 2012 was 2.88%, compared to 2.10% in California. That means the employment growth rate was stronger by more than a third in TX vs. CA.

    Annual Employment (in thousands)
    from the BLS.gov data set for
    Employment, Hours, and Earnings – State and Metro Area
    (Current Employment Statistics – CES)
    http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?sm

    California, Total Nonfarm, Not seasonally adjusted – SMU06000000000000001
    2011: 14098.8
    2012: 14394.5
    CA growth % = (14394.5 – 14098.8)/14098.8 = 2.10%

    Texas, Total Nonfarm, Not seasonally adjusted – SMU48000000000000001
    2011: 10575.5
    2012: 10879.8
    TX growth % = (10879.8 – 10575.5)/10575.5 = 2.88%

    difference in growth rates = (2.88% – 2.10%)/2.10% = 37%

  16. Just Sayin says:

    Opps, it looks even a bit worse for CA metros than I had showed because I omitted Los Angeles which is in 9th place among the 10.

    Corrected list shows weakest four (not three) metros for 2011-2012 job growth among the ten large metros in TX+CA were all in CA:

    1. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 3.83%
    2. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 3.55%
    3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 3.29%
    4. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 3.16%
    5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 2.86%%
    6. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2.27%
    7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 2.06%
    8. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 2.02%
    9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 1.91%
    10. Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA 1.72%

  17. Chris Barnett says:

    Just Sayin, nice table, but meaningless. You can’t ignore the whole rest of the US.

    If CA were worse than everyplace else (not just TX), then the regulation argument holds; most folks hold up CA as THE high-tax, high-reg state. But CA was not worse than everyplace else. LA+Riverside was right at the median job growth number, 1.93%, and that means half the metros on the list were worse…all but Sacramento weren’t in CA.

    Also, I wasn’t saying that TX was growing jobs at a slower rate than CA, only that its four metros didn’t add as many jobs in total as the four big CA metros. (I combined the Bay Area’s two metros, as well as the two LA Area metros.)

    California is in a different place on its growth curve than Texas. California metros (and the state) will grow jobs at a slower rate than the current boomtowns…because they’re bigger and more mature to start with. By your numbers, CA still added virtually the same number of jobs as TX, (CA=295.7, TX=304.3) from a base 33% larger than TX. At that piddling differential, it would take TX 418 years like 2012 to overtake California’s job base advantage.

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