Austin and San Jose led the United States in job growth last year, according to an analysis of the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Aaron Renn, who blogs as The Urbanophile. Houston, Charlotte, and Nashville round out the top five. And both hard-hit Detroit and Pittsburgh make the top 10, along with Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Raleigh.
The analysis covers the 51 U.S. metros with populations of one million people or more and covers the year 2010-2011, the latest period for which full data is available.
Cities and metro areas are increasingly recognized as engines of the economy and of job creation. That is certainly the case with these job creation numbers. As Renn points out: “On the whole it was a much better year for metros than we’ve seen in the recent past. The national economy added jobs and all but two large metros did as well.” Over the same time period, thenational unemployment rate dropped from 9.1 percent to 8.3 percent and 329 of the 372 metropolitan areas had lower unemployment rates in December than one year earlier.
The map above by the Martin Prosperity Institute‘s Zara Matheson charts the pattern for all 51 of the large metros.
The biggest gainers are a mix of knowledge-driven and creative regions (Austin, San Jose, and Raleigh); metros with substantial natural resource economies which have done especially well over the course of the economic crisis (Houston and Oklahoma City); older but transitioning industrial regions like Detroit and Pittsburgh, and America’s number one center for popular music, Nashville. Renn notes that the relatively high rate of job growth in Detroit reflects the “pro-cyclical” nature of manufacturing.
Despite the rebound in jobs in Detroit and Pittsburgh, overall, job growth appears to be occurring in metros with lower levels of unionization. The correlation between job growth and unionization was the highest of any in out analysis (-.49).