The New York-Newark metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the largest in the United States, with its population of nearly 20 million. It is also the worst for job creation, according to new data from Gallup. The nation’s second largest MSA, Los Angeles-Long Beach, with a population of just over 13 million, lags significantly as well.
Even though these huge metropolitan areas lag, the national picture has improved sharply over the past several years, according to Gallup researchers:
The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking conducted throughout 2014. Gallup asks working Americans to say whether their employer is hiring workers and expanding the size of its workforce, not changing the size of its workforce, or letting workers go and reducing the size of its workforce. Overall, throughout 2014, an average of 39% of U.S. workers said their employer was hiring workers, compared with 13% who said their employer was letting workers go, resulting in a nationwide Job Creation Index of +26. Reports of job creation are currently quite strong and have improved each year since 2009.
So, even though job creation in the largest MSAs has been disappointing, measured against national trends, their numbers are still encouraging:
The areas with the lowest index scores among the top 50 MSAs are New York, San Diego and Hartford, Conn., at +20, and Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va., and Las Vegas at +21. Although these scores are the lowest in a relative sense, they are still strong in an absolute sense.
The 10 worst MSAs based on their Job Creation Index scores were New York (20); San Diego (20); Hartford, Conn. (20); Virginia Beach, Va. (21); Las Vegas (21); Providence, R.I. (23); Memphis (24); Los Angeles (24); Pittsburgh (24); and Riverside, Calif. (24).
At the other end of the list were MSAs that Gallup believes in many cases were helped by the boom in tech and energy jobs. Leading the list are Austin, Texas (37); Salt Lake City (37); San Francisco (36); Houston (36); Orlando (36); and San Jose, Calif. (35).
Even with some relatively large MSAs posting good numbers, it is hard for them to balance the bad figures of the New York and Los Angeles MSAs, which have 33 million residents between them.
Methodology: Results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted in 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 201,254 employed adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of workers, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.