Special Report

Cities Adding the Most Jobs

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15. Kennewick-Richland, WA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 18.3% (+21,431 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Education and health services (+3,300 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 5.1%
> Median household income: $63,617

There are 21,431 more people working in the Kennewick-Richland metro area today than there were half a decade ago, the largest net increase of any of the four Washington metro areas on this list. Rapid population growth in recent years has driven up demand for public services, which partially explains the employment increase in education and health services. The sector added more jobs than any other sector since 2014.

Despite the near nation-leading increase in employment, joblessness is a bigger problem in Kennewick-Richland than it is nationwide on average. As of May, the unemployment rate in the metro area stood at 5.1%, well above the comparable national unemployment rate of 3.4%.

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14. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
> 5 yr. employment increase: 18.4% (+42,625 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (+7,400 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.3%
> Median household income: $56,038

Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers is the only metro area in Arkansas to rank on this list. Overall employment climbed by 18.4% over the last five years, thanks in part to rapidly growing employment in the professional and business services sector as well as government. The industry that added the most jobs, however, was trade, transportation, and utilities, adding 7,400 net new jobs since 2014.

Though the size of the labor force in the area also grew rapidly over that period, the number of jobs grew even faster, and unemployment declined. The jobless rate in the metro area fell from 4.6% in May 2014 to 2.3% in May 2019, a 2.3 percentage point decline.

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13. Olympia-Tumwater, WA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 18.5% (+21,139 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Education and health services (+3,500 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 4.7%
> Median household income: $71,765

Washington has more metro areas on this list than any other state. In Olympia-Tumwater, employment grew by 18.5% in the last five years, more than in all but a dozen other cities nationwide.

In recent years, the metro area has been among the 50 fastest growing nationwide, with 9.4% population growth between mid-2013 and mid-2018. Population growth results in growing demand for public services, and over the last five years, the two fastest growing industries in the metro area were education and health care and government, which added 3,500 and 3,400 net new jobs, respectively.

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12. Wenatchee, WA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.3% (+10,190 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Leisure and hospitality (+1,800 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 4.9%
> Median household income: $58,990

Employment rose by 19.3% in Wenatchee over the last five years — faster than in every other metro area in Washington state and all but 11 metro areas nationwide. Since May 2014, no sector reported a net decline in jobs, and the leisure and hospitality industry and education and health services sectors each reported a net increase in employment of over 1,000.

Despite the near nation-leading increase in employment growth, joblessness remains a bigger problem in Wenatchee than it is nationwide on average. As of May, the unemployment rate in the metro area stood at 4.9%, well above the comparable national unemployment rate of 3.4%.

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11. Greeley, CO
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.4% (+26,871 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,500 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.2%
> Median household income: $68,884

Greeley is one of two Colorado metro areas to rank on this list. In the last five years, employment climbed by 19.4% in the metro area, more than double the 7.3% national employment growth rate over the same period. Partially as a result, the area has one of the lowest jobless rates of any city. Just 2.2% of the labor force in Greeley was unemployed in May, well below the 3.4% national unemployment rate.

Trade, transportation, and utilities added a net of 2,500 jobs, more than every other industry. Manufacturing and government each added over 2,000 jobs in the last five years as well.