Special Report

Cities Adding the Most Jobs

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20. Bellingham, WA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 16.9% (+15,858 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Government (+1,900 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 4.7%
> Median household income: $61,186

Bellingham is one of four metro areas in Washington state to rank on this list. In the last five years, the number of people working in the metro area climbed by 16.9% — more than double the comparable 7.3% national job growth. Growth was driven primarily by the public sector, as the number of people working in government climbed by nearly 2,000 in the last five years. The manufacturing sector also added net 1,500 jobs.

Employment growth in Bellingham’s public sector is likely driven by the increased demand for government services that often accompanies a rapidly growing population. The 9.5% population growth rate between mid-2013 and mid-2018 in Bellingham was well more than double the 3.5% national population growth rate over the same period.

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19. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.2% (+25,885 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Leisure and hospitality (+4,800 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.8%
> Median household income: $66,048

Naples, Florida, is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States. In the last five years, the number of people living in the area climbed by 11.6%, more than triple the 3.5% national population growth over the same period. In order to accommodate the new residents, the city’s education and health services sector added net new 4,300 positions, and the trade, transportation, and utilities added 3,400 jobs.

The fastest growing industry in the area, however, was leisure and hospitality, which added 4,800 net new jobs. Across all industries, total employment climbed by nearly 26,000 in the Naples metro area in the last five years.

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18. Idaho Falls, ID
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.3% (+10,481 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+2,900 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.0%
> Median household income: $54,515

Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and Idaho Falls is one of the fastest growing cities. In the last five years, the number of people living in the metro area increased by over 12,000, an 8.8% bump. Job growth kept pace with growing demand, as over roughly the same period, total employment climbed by nearly 10,500, or a 17.3% increase — more than in all but 17 other metro areas nationwide.

The rapid job growth in Idaho Falls has lead to one of the lowest jobless rates in the country. Just 2.0% of workers in the metro area are unemployed, down from 4.0% half a decade ago and well below the 3.4% national unemployment rate.

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17. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
> 5 yr. employment increase: 17.4% (+196,663 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+36,800 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 3.7%
> Median household income: $61,156

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia is the only North Carolina metro area to rank on this list. In the last five years, the metro area added nearly 197,000 jobs, a 17.4% increase. Nationwide, total employment climbed by just 7.3% over the same period.

Professional and business services added a net of 36,800 jobs in the metro area since 2014, more than every other industry over the same period. Jobs in the professional and business services sector often require a college education — and Charlotte is a relatively well-educated part of the country. Of all metro area adults, 35.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 32.0% national share.

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16. Austin-Round Rock, TX
> 5 yr. employment increase: 18.0% (+180,965 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+42,200 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.2%
> Median household income: $73,800

Thanks largely to a net gain of 42,200 new jobs in the professional and business services sector, total employment increased by 18.0% in the Austin-Round Rock metro area in the last five years. Some of the largest employers in the metro area include tech giants like Apple, IBM, Amazon, and Dell, as well as the University of Texas at Austin.

Jobs in the professional and business services sector often require a college education — and Austin has one of the best-educated populations in the country. Nearly 45% of adults in the metro area have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 32.0% share of adults nationwide.