Where are the Jobs?

Phoenix experienced the best year-over-year employment growth rate in May among the 41 largest metros in the U.S. at 3.2%, more than double the national rate of 1.5%.

New York and Dallas/Ft. Worth led the country for total job growth, gaining, respectively, 114,000 and 107,000 jobs year-over-year.

The metros with the highest rates of job creation remained concentrated in the South and West. Among the 10 Midwest metros, Cincinnati had the highest increase (2.0%). Among the seven Mid-Atlantic/Northeast metros, New York had the highest growth rate at 1.2% (below the U.S. average).

The employment growth rate was essentially unchanged from three months ago in over half of the metros analyzed (24 out of 41). About one-quarter of the metros had faster job growth than three months ago, especially in Seattle, Jacksonville and Kansas City.

Seven of the metros experienced slower percentage point in all instances. One explanatory factor is labor shortages. With unemployment holding steady at historic lows, labor shortages in a wide array of industries are now common in many metros.

Unemployment rates in 28 of the 41 metros were at or lower than the U.S. average of 3.4% (not seasonally adjusted). San Francisco, San Jose and Austin had the lowest levels at 2.2%, followed by Nashville and Denver (both at 2.4%) and San Antonio (2.6%). Fourteen of the metros had unemployment levels of 3.0% or lower.

Low unemployment represents solid economic expansion. It also indicates considerable stress in finding qualified workers and possible limitations in attracting new industry due to labor shortages.

By Jeanette Rice, Americas Head of Multifamily Research, CBRE.