20. Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY
> Employment change: 4.60%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 60,387
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 63,166
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 4.7%
In the Elizabethtown metro area, 4.6% employment growth brought unemployment in the area below the national rate. Between October 2015 and October 2016, employers in Elizabeth added nearly 2,800 jobs, bringing unemployment down from 5.2% to 4.7%. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy added 2.4 million workers, which brought unemployment down from 5.0% to 4.9%. The professional and business services industry contributed most to employment growth in the area.
19. Clarksville, TN-KY
> Employment change: 4.61%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 102,105
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 106,811
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 5.5%
Clarksville, Tennessee added around 4,700 workers over the past year, a 4.6% increase in total employment. The largest drivers of growth appeared to be in the education and health services sector as well as the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, the latter of which added about 600 workers over the past year. While the employment growth helped drive the area’s unemployment rate down 0.5 percentage points to 5.5%, the jobless rate remains above the national rate of 4.9%.
18. Fargo, ND-MN
> Employment change: 4.62%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 129,048
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 135,014
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 2.5%
The number of workers in Fargo increased by 4.6% between October 2015 and October 2016, far faster than growth rate nationwide. Despite the rapid employment growth, the number of new workers in the area did not keep pace with labor force expansion over the same period. As a result, the unemployment rate in the Fargo metro area climbed from 2.3% to 2.5%. Still, unemployment in Fargo is well below the 4.9% unemployment rate nationwide and appears likely to remain there as the city continues to add jobs. Specifically, the Sanford Fargo Medical Center, the largest employer in the area, provides more than 6,600 jobs and is opening a new 11 story, million square foot facility in 2017.
17. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Employment change: 4.67%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 1,879,827
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 1,967,536
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 4.4%
The employment total in the Seattle metro area grew by 4.7% in the last 12 months. Employment growth in the information and trade and transportation industries was particularly strong. Seattle is home to the headquarters of Amazon.com, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Microsoft.
16. Knoxville, TN
> Employment change: 4.69%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 384,235
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 402,262
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 4.7%
The Knoxville area labor force — the number of people either with a job or looking for one — increased by 16,700 over the 12-month period ending in October 2016. While an increase in the labor force can lead to rising unemployment, Knoxville added an even greater number of workers — about 18,000 — over the same period. As a result, the area’s unemployment rate fell from 5.2%, slightly above the national figure at the time of 5.0%, to 4.7%, below the national rate of 4.9%. Last October, Comcast announced it was expanding a Knoxville call center and adding 250 jobs.
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