Redmond, Oregon, Added the Most Jobs This Past Year

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The U.S. economy added nearly 2.5 million workers to the list of the employed in the past 12 months, a gain of 1.7%. Employment is expanding even more rapidly in some parts of the country. Due to a variety of factors, employment growth in a number of cities was more than double the national growth rate. Together, the 25 cities with the fastest employment growth added more than half a million new jobs.

To determine the 25 U.S. cities adding the most jobs, 24/7 Wall St. compared employment levels in 387 metro areas in October 2016 with levels in the previous year. Employment growth in these 25 cities ranged from 4.4% in Ithaca, New York, to 7.6% in the Bend-Redmond metro area in Oregon. It turned out that more than one out of every four cities adding the most workers was in Oregon.

Our analysis of the Redmond area in particular:

1. Bend-Redmond, Oregon
> Employment change: 7.63%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 80,446
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 86,587
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 5.2%

The Bend-Redmond metro area had the most rapid employment growth of any U.S. metro over the past year. The 7.6% employment growth was more than quadruple the nationwide job growth. A former saw mill town, wood products still make up a significant share of the area’s economy. Last year, employment in mining, logging, and construction went up by 10.3%, more than in any other industry in the area. Strong growth in a number of other industries, including leisure and hospitality as well as professional and business services were enough to offset a 4.3% decline in the area’s finance industry.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Martin Kohli, chief regional economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), explained that steady manufacturing employment has been very important to certain cities on this list, particularly in places like Oregon. And note that the strong job growth in Oregon also caused a construction employment boom.

To identify the cities with the greatest employment growth, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed metropolitan statistical areas with the largest employment growth from October 2015 through October 2016. Unemployment rates, the size of the labor force and employment levels were from the BLS and are seasonally adjusted. Industry-specific growth rates for the same period were from the Current Employment Survey, a monthly BLS survey. Educational attainment and median household income came from the 2015 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Note that we also reviewed the American cities losing the most jobs this year.