Despite advancements in virtual communication and information sharing, geography remains one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a job. Areas of high job growth and innovation are concentrated in certain places throughout the U.S.
For instance, San Jose, California, and Seattle have capitalized on the tech boom. Boston is a hub for life sciences companies. The so-called Silicon Forest in Portland, Oregon, contains a major concentration of semiconductor companies. All of these cities have managed to attract and retain skilled workers, even as other parts of the U.S. struggle with high unemployment rates and slow job growth.
Where else are jobs increasing in the country?
Using Local Area Unemployment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following slides identify the city in each state that saw the greatest percent increase in the number of people employed between January 2016 and January 2017.
For context, the data experts also included the total change in the number of people employed over that one-year span. To avoid skewing toward cities with small populations, only cities with a labor force population of at least 10,000 were considered. Because Vermont and Hawaii only reported data for one city, they were left out of the ranking. States are ordered alphabetically from Alabama to Wyoming.
The ranking features cities both small (Fitchburg, Wisconsin) and large (New York). While every city on the list had a positive increase in total employment, some were more dramatic than others. Three cities had a percent increase in employment greater than 20 percent, with the highest experiencing a staggering 40 percent increase. For the most part, the cities in the ranking have unemployment rates below the national average of 4.5 percent, with rates ranging from 2.4 percent to 6 percent.
Note: Data for cities is not adjusted for seasonality.