American Cities Adding the Most Jobs This Year

Print Email

Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
Source: Thinkstock

15. Savannah, GA
> Employment change: 4.86%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 166,559
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 174,646
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 4.9%

A city steeped in historical significance, Savannah is a popular tourist destination. As such, the metro area’s leisure and hospitality industry accounts for a much larger share of jobs than is typical. It has also accounted for a considerable share of job growth in the past year, expanding industry employment in the area by nearly 5%, more than double the industry’s employment growth nationwide. Overall, Savannah’s job market grew far faster in the past year than the vast majority of U.S. metro areas.

St. George, Utah
Source: Thinkstock

14. St. George, UT
> Employment change: 4.89%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 62,386
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 65,435
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 3.6%

When populations expand, regardless of the driving factors, the government and health services sector, as well as the education sector typically expand to accommodate the growing population. In a large number of metro areas with the greatest employment growth, one of these two sectors had the largest proportional employment increases of all sectors in the area. In St. George, employment in the government sector increased slightly, while the education and health services sector added around 800 workers, the largest increase of any sector in the area.

Last Daylight and Snow, Grants Pass, Oregon
Source: Thinkstock

13. Grants Pass, OR
> Employment change: 5.06%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 30,906
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 32,471
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 7.0%

Despite declines in government employment and a loss of jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector, Grants Pass, Oregon has added more to its workforce than all but a dozen other U.S. metro areas since October 2015. An especially small city, the net addition of some 1,600 workers in the past year has helped drive down the metro area’s unemployment rate from 7.8% to a still quite high 7.0%. Bucking national trends, the area’s manufacturing sector and mining, logging, and construction industries reported especially strong 3.3% and 11.1% employment growth respectively.

12. Medford, OR
> Employment change: 5.10%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 91,343
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 96,006
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 6.3%

In Medford, Oregon, every major industry, from manufacturing to government, added workers in the past year. The metro area is one of seven in Oregon to rank among the 25 U.S. metros adding the most to employment. Despite the addition of nearly 4,700 jobs, Medford’s 6.3% unemployment rate remains well above the corresponding 4.9% national rate.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
Source: Thinkstock

11. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
> Employment change: 5.16%
> No. of jobs Oct. 2015: 893,361
> No. of jobs Oct. 2016: 939,494
> Unemployment rate Oct. 2016: 3.9%

The United States shed tens of thousands of manufacturing workers between October 2015 and October 2016. In the Nashville metro area, however, employment surged in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing employment grew by 5.9% in the past year. Major manufacturing employers in the area include automakers Nissan and General Motors.