Urban Wire Where are the jobs?
Graham MacDonald
Display Date

Public concern about jobs and the economy has focused media and political attention on the job creation credentials of President Obama and his Republican contenders.

MetroTrends offers solid facts to inform this debate: which industries are gaining or losing jobs? Without these details, it’s difficult for policymakers to craft effective responses that strengthen metropolitan economies.

Our latest interactive map shows Current Employment Statistics data for October 2011. The highlights:

  • Metropolitan jobs numbers categorized by industry
  • Color coding to represent industry change since the recession
  • Interactive mouse-over windows showing industry stats and trends
  • A “compare metros” feature for users to craft their own analysis and stories
  • Downloadable, ready-to-use datasets for each metro

The Top 100 Metros' Job Creation in All Industries (click image for interactive map)

Source: Urban Institute analysis of BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES) Data

Since the Great Recession ended in June 2009, the United States has gained about 1.2 million jobs, mostly in the services sector. Of the top 100 metros, 59 have added jobs overall, while 41 have lost jobs.

The top 10 job-creating metros account for 38.5 percent of net U.S. job growth and include Houston (7.2 percent), Dallas (6.1 percent), Boston (6 percent), Phoenix (3.5 percent), Detroit (3.1 percent), Miami (3 percent), Nashville (2.7 percent), Pittsburgh (2.5 percent), Washington DC (2.2 percent), and San Jose (2.1 percent).

In all these metros, the service sector is the main source of job growth.  For example, most of Houston’s gains have come from increases in both professional and business services and education and health services. Dallas has gained many jobs in the same two fields, compensating for manufacturing sector losses.  Boston’s growth stems mainly from large increases in education and health services jobs. And in DC, government, professional and business services, and education and health services jobs have offset losses in goods producing, leisure and hospitality, and information jobs.

Every metro tells a unique story that varies over time. By understanding job trends both within and among metros and industries, policymakers and local stakeholders have a strong foundation for building sound job-creation strategies going forward.

Tags Employment and income data Labor force Unemployment and unemployment insurance