31 American Cities Adding the Most Jobs

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16. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.7% (+149,494 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+41,100 jobs)
> August unemployment: 3.1%
> Median household income: $63,939

The Nashville metro area is growing rapidly, and until recently, job growth has kept pace with the growing number of people looking for work. In the past five years, Nashville’s labor force grew by 13.7%. Over the same period, overall employment climbed 17.7%. The metro area’s unemployment rate fell from 6.3% in August 2013 to 2.9% in August 2017. However, job growth slowed slightly in the past year and did not keep pace with labor force growth. As a result, Nashville’s unemployment rate climbed slightly from 2.9% in August 2017 to 3.1% in August 2018.

Job growth in the Nashville metro area over the past half decade was driven largely by the professional and business services industry. The industry alone added 41,100 new workers, more than the total employment growth in many smaller cities on this list.

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15. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.7% (+337,497 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Education and health services (+57,800 jobs)
> August unemployment: 4.5%
> Median household income: $61,506

Of the three Arizona metro areas on this list, none has added jobs at a faster pace than Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale. There are now over 337,000 more people working in the metro area than there were five years ago, a 17.7% increase. Every industry contributed to the five-year job growth in the Phoenix metro area, with the education and health services industry and the professional and business services industry each adding over 50,000 new workers.

The labor force in Phoenix has also spiked since 2013, and as a result the metro area’s unemployment rate is higher than typical. In August 2013, the area’s unemployment rate was 7.2% — in line with the U.S. unemployment rate. As of August 2018, unemployment in the area stood at 4.5%, slightly higher than the 3.9% U.S. rate.

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14. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.8% (+48,729 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Mining, logging, and construction (+10,900 jobs)
> August unemployment: 3.7%
> Median household income: $53,928

Overall employment in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area climbed 17.8% over the past five years. There are now 48,729 more people working in the metro area than there were in 2013. The rapid job growth has reduced unemployment at faster than typical rate. The unemployment rate in Cape Coral-Fort Myers stood at 7.5% in August 2013, higher than the 7.2% national rate. As of August 2018, unemployment in Cape Coral-Fort Myers was 3.7%, lower than the comparable 3.9% national rate.

The metro area’s mining, logging, and construction lead job growth in Cape Coral-Fort Myers, adding 10,900 new jobs in the past half decade.

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13. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.9% (+194,322 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+44,500 jobs)
> August unemployment: 3.7%
> Median household income: $61,156

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia reported faster five-year employment growth than any other metro area in North Carolina. From 2013 through 2018, the number of people working in the metro area climbed by over 194,000, a 17.9% increase. The metro area’s professional and business services industry contributed most to growth, adding 44,500 jobs in the past half decade, more than total employment growth in many smaller cities on this list.

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing metro areas by population in the United States. The metro area population climbed 37.9%, from 1.8 million in 2012 to 2.5 million in 2017. Still, Charlotte’s job market more than kept pace with population growth, and from August 2013 to August 2018, unemployment in the metro area fell from 7.8% to 3.7%.

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12. Reno, NV
> 5 yr. employment increase: 18.0% (+36,792 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (+10,300 jobs)
> August unemployment: 3.7%
> Median household income: $61,360

Every industry in Reno, Nevada, added jobs in the past five years. The strongest growth was in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry and in manufacturing, which together, accounted for about half of total employment growth in the metro area since 2013.

Because of the rapid job growth, Reno’s unemployment rate improved more than nearly every other U.S. metro area in the past five years. In August 2013, Reno’s 9.0% unemployment rate was well above U.S. unemployment rate of 7.2%. As of August 2018, the area’s unemployment rate was just 3.7%, lower than the comparable 3.9% national rate.