Detailed findings & methodology:
In most states, at least one metro area experienced significant employment growth. Of the 50 metro areas that top their state in job growth, 35 had employment growth that surpassed the national growth rate of 7.8% over the past five years.
Many of the metro areas included on the list were not affected harshly by the 2008 economic downturn, maintaining strong job markets throughout the recession. Kohli pointed out that many of these cities are college towns. Generally, college towns have higher educational attainment rates, and adults with a college degree are more likely to maintain steady employment in weak job markets.
In Delaware and Rhode Island, there is only one place with a large enough population to qualify as a major metropolitan area, so the Providence, Rhode Island; and Dover, Delaware, areas topped their states in job creation by default.
Wyoming and Alaska were the only two states with no metro areas that had a net increase in employment over the past five years. Both have just two metro areas, and each reported employment declines during that time.
Many Americans are concerned that automation could make certain jobs like manufacturing obsolete, or at least much less common. While improvements in technology may hinder growth in manufacturing employment, it could help increase productivity, and potentially add jobs, in other sectors.
In some industries, like health care, tech innovation may have many possible benefits to the job market. Over the past five years, the health care sector grew more quickly than most other industries. Kohli noted that “part of the job growth in health care reflects the existence of new procedures like knee replacements and hip replacement that weren’t that widespread 20 years ago.”
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 August 2013 to August 2018 with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Supplementary data on unemployment and employment by industry also came from the BLS. Median household income came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2017.