Detailed Findings & Methodology
According to the latest BLS job report, the national employment decline in September was largely because of the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey. According to the BLS, the drop was temporary. Metro area employment levels recovered in both states, and no metro areas in Texas and Florida are present on our list of largest employment declines this year.
The steady uptick in employment throughout the year was driven by hiring in the professional and business services industry. Employment in that sector rose 5.2% through October from the start of the year, the largest growth of any industry. In 18 of the 25 metro areas adding the most jobs, however, the mining, logging, and construction sectors drove employment growth. In metro regions with falling employment, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector was most often the industry driving employment declines.
The fastest-growing industries in cities with fast-growing (or shrinking) employment levels are not necessarily the largest industry by employment in those areas. In fact, either the leisure and hospitality or information sector is the largest employer in every metro on these lists, regardless of whether metro employment levels grew or declined.
Despite the healthy demand for workers that the rising employment levels suggest, wage growth has been comparatively weak. Average hourly wages for private employees rose by 2.0% this year through October, by 2.4% compared with October 2016, and was unchanged from September. The 2.0% wage growth from January to October is in line with that period historically, but the 2.9% year-over-year in September was considerably better than October’s 2.4% growth. Further, wages have remained unchanged over the previous month this time of year only once in the last decade.
To identify the cities adding (and losing) the most jobs in 2017, 24/7 Wall st. reviewed monthly metro area employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We calculated the percentage change from January 2017 through October 2017, the latest month for which employment data at the metro area level is available. All figures are seasonally adjusted. January and October unemployment rates came from the BLS. We identified the industry contributing the most to job growth using employment break downs by sector (NAICS level 2), also from the BLS.