Special Report

Cities Adding the Most Jobs in Every State

Detailed Findings

The majority of cities adding the most jobs are growing rapidly. The U.S. population expanded by 3% from 2013 to 2017. In 34 of the 50 metro areas on this list, population growth outpaced national population growth. Population growth can drive up demand for services, and contributed to employment surges in such industries as construction and transportation, warehousing, and utilities in many cities on this list.

In each of the metro areas on this list where employment has increased, job growth has resulted in a lower unemployment rate. Five-year declines in unemployment range from 0.5 percentage points to 6.3 percentage points.

Reduced joblessness appears to have had a meaningful impact on the overall quality of life in the cities on this list. In over half of the cities adding the most jobs in each state, the poverty rate fell by as much or more than the 1.8 percentage point national decline. Only six cities on this list reported an uptick in poverty over the last five years.

While most states have at least one metro area that added jobs more rapidly than the state as a whole, there are a handful of outliers. Among them are Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These states are distinct in that each of them have only one metro area. But, with the exception of Delaware, these smaller U.S. states followed a similar pattern as the rest of the country: metro-area hiring grew much faster compared to the statewide average over the past five years.

While employment in the Dover metro area grew 12.1% over the past five years — slower than the statewide average of 13.9% — that figure is still well above the comparable 8.0% national employment growth.

Just because a metro area added jobs more rapidly than anywhere else in the state does not necessarily mean it added jobs faster than the nation as a whole. In 16 cities on this list — including the metro areas in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — five-year job growth trailed the comparable 8.0% national growth.

The other exceptions on this list are Anchorage, Alaska and Cheyenne, Wyoming where the number of jobs actually declined by 1.1% and 2.4% respectively from 2013 to 2018. Employment declines in those states fit into the broader statewide patterns as employment fell 1.4% in Alaska and 5.9% in Wyoming over the last five years.


To determine the cities adding the most jobs in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed employment growth for 381 metropolitan statistical areas for the period of May 2013 to May 2018 with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Supplementary data on unemployment and employment by industry also came from the BLS. We also reviewed 2013 and 2016 poverty rates and households earning $200,000 or more per year from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Population estimates come from Census Bureau data for July 2013 and July 2017.

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