The City With the Weakest Job Growth in Every State

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The strength of the U.S. economy is a favorite talking point of politicians, journalists, and business leaders. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence to suggest we are in a period of unprecedented prosperity. The economy has added jobs for a record-breaking 94 consecutive months and shows no signs of slowing; the unemployment rate is nearing its lowest point in decades; and the 19 million new jobs added since the Great Recession is more than double the nearly 8.7 million jobs lost in its wake.

Job growth in recent years has been driven largely by employment gains in major metropolitan areas. 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.

While American cities have generally been hiring hotbeds, driving overall employment growth, there are 43 metro areas nationwide that have fewer jobs now than five years ago. A number of these metro areas have shrinking populations and increasing poverty rates.

Nationwide, 20 states have at least one major metro area with fewer jobs now than five years ago. In the remaining states, there is at least one metro area where employment growth has been slower than the statewide average, the national average, or both over 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 metro areas with the weakest job growth in every state.

Click here to see the cities with the weakest job growth in every state.
Click here to see the cities adding the most jobs in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: jjneff / Getty Images

Alabama: Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville
> Employment chg. 2013-2018: -1.1% (44,606 to 44,126)
> State employment chg. 2013-2018: +3.9% (2.0 million to 2.1 million)
> June unemployment: 5.2%
> Industry with weakest job growth: Information
> Employment change in information: -33.3%

Source: DMartinez-Photo / Getty Images

Alaska: Fairbanks
> Employment chg. 2013-2018: -2.4% (45,030 to 43,960)
> State employment chg. 2013-2018: -1.4% (340,553 to 335,748)
> June unemployment: 6.0%
> Industry with weakest job growth: Information
> Employment change in information: -20.0%

Source: Thinkstock

Arizona: Sierra Vista-Douglas
> Employment chg. 2013-2018: -1.1% (46,699 to 46,194)
> State employment chg. 2013-2018: +15.5% (2.8 million to 3.2 million)
> June unemployment: 5.2%
> Industry with weakest job growth: Professional and business services
> Employment change in professional and business services: -16.7%

Source: pasa / Flickr

Arkansas: Pine Bluff
> Employment chg. 2013-2018: -6.7% (35,537 to 33,147)
> State employment chg. 2013-2018: +5.5% (1.2 million to 1.3 million)
> June unemployment: 5.1%
> Industry with weakest job growth: Government
> Employment change in government: -6.0%

Source: LPETTET / Getty Images

California: Bakersfield
> Employment chg. 2013-2018: +0.7% (349,569 to 352,010)
> State employment chg. 2013-2018: +9.0% (17.0 million to 18.6 million)
> June unemployment: 8.4%
> Industry with weakest job growth: Mining and logging
> Employment change in mining and logging: -30.7%