The U.S. is in a period of record-breaking economic growth. The economy added 157,000 jobs in July 2018, marking the 94th consecutive month of employment growth. Last month’s hiring is the continuation of a pattern that has netted some 19 million new jobs since the Great Recession.
What the national job numbers fail to convey is that cities and urban areas are, by and large, the engines driving employment growth nationwide. Employment in U.S. metro areas climbed 8.8% over the last half decade — nearly triple the comparable 3.2% job growth in the rest of the country.
The same general pattern of rapid job growth in urban economies holds true at a state level. In nearly every state in the country, there is at least one city where job growth outpaced job growth across the state as a whole in the last half decade. Indeed, 16 states have at least one metro area where five-year employment growth more than doubled employment growth statewide over the same period.
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, for example, total employment increased 30.5% over the last five years. Meanwhile, employment across Louisiana climbed by just 3.6% over the same period. Employment in the metro area was driven in large part by its booming construction industry, which more than doubled in size in the last half decade.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed changes in total employment in 381 metro areas from May 2013 to May 2018 to identify the cities adding the most jobs in every state.