Special Report

Cities Adding the Most Jobs

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10. Gainesville, GA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.4% (+16,411 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,200 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.8%
> Median household income: $61,977

There are 16,411 more people working in Gainesville, Georgia, now than there were half a decade ago. The 19.4% increase in employment was the highest in Georgia over that time and 10th highest nationwide. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector added a net of over 2,000 new jobs in the metro area, and retail trade added over 1,000.

Like other cities on this list, Gainesville is growing rapidly. Between 2013 and 2018, the metro area’s population grew by 8.4%, more than double the national population growth of 3.5%.

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9. Fort Collins, CO
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.6% (+33,350 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Government (+5,500 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.0%
> Median household income: $69,102

Employment in Fort Collins, Colorado, climbed by 19.6% in the last five years, more than every other metro area in the state and ninth most nationwide. Such rapid employment growth has led to one of the lowest jobless rates in the country. Just 2.0% of the labor force in Fort Collins is unemployed, well below the 3.4% national unemployment rate.

Adults with higher educational attainment typically earn higher incomes, and in Fort Collins, 47.9% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher — one of the highest shares of any U.S. city — and the typical area household earns $69,102 a year, about $9,000 more than the typical American household.

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8. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.7% (+388,901 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Education and health services (+69,600 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 4.0%
> Median household income: $61,506

Phoenix is one of the largest metro areas in the United States. Over the last five years, the Arizona metro area has added nearly 389,000 jobs, more than every other metro area on this list. The education and health services sector accounted for the largest share of growth — netting 69,600 new jobs — followed by professional and business services, which accounted for 57,200 of all new jobs.

Despite the nearly 20% uptick in overall employment, joblessness is still relatively high in Phoenix. The metro area’s 4.0% May unemployment rate is slightly higher than the 3.4% national rate.

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7. Boise City, ID
> 5 yr. employment increase: 19.9% (+60,126 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Professional and business services (+9,700 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 2.3%
> Median household income: $55,324

Total employment climbed by 19.9% in Boise City, Idaho, over the last five years, faster than any other city in the state and all but half a dozen other cities nationwide. Job growth in the metro area has been driven in part by a population boom. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of people living in the metro area increased by over 81,000, or 12.5%, more than triple the 3.5% national population growth over the same period.

Due in part to the growing demand for public services that typically accompanies a growing population, education and health services was one of the fastest growing industries in the metro area in the last five years, adding a net of 9,200 new jobs.

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6. Lake Charles, LA
> 5 yr. employment increase: 20.0% (+18,274 jobs)
> Highest growth industry: Construction (+10,400 jobs)
> May 2019 unemployment: 3.3%
> Median household income: $52,314

Lake Charles is the only metro area in Louisiana to rank on this list. In the last five years, employment in Lake Charles climbed by 20% — more than in all but five other metro areas nationwide. The metro area’s construction sector accounted for 10,400 net new jobs since May 2014, over half of the total employment growth. Job growth in the area contributed to a 2.3 percentage point decline in unemployment — from 5.6% in May 2014 to 3.3% in May 2019.

Though Lake Charles has reported near nation-leading job growth and low unemployment, incomes in the metro area are not especially high. The typical area household earns just $52,314 a year, about $8,000 less than the typical American household.

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