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MSA Employment Report For the Year Ending December 2016

Friday, February 03, 2017

HFF is pleased to report on MSA Employment for the year ending December 2016. Our research team analyzes trends and data to give readers a better view into the current state of the economy and how employment is being affected.

Growth Rankings

New York and Dallas are the only markets that created more than 100,000 jobs. Only the top seven MSAs were able to create more than 60,000 jobs. Employment in HFF markets grew by 1.72 percent in the 12 months ending December 2016 and, having added 980,000 jobs on the year, accounting for 48 percent of the nation’s headline growth. The top 10 expanding employment bases below combined to account for approximately 36.3 percent of the nation’s overall growth in the past year.

Growth Rankings by Absolute Growth

Altering our perspective to percentage growth (to level the playing field), we see that Dallas, Orlando, Atlanta and Seattle remain in the top 10. Large markets such as Houston, New York and Chicago now lag given their respective percentage growth rates below 1.83 percent, the median of the 50 markets below. Smaller markets such as Orlando, Salt Lake City and Jacksonville show their momentum, with each growing above 3.3 percent. The employment recovery is definitely still underway, with approximately 12 markets now expanding at a rate in excess of 2.5 percent and 32 markets exceeding the national average.

Growth Rankings by Percentage Growth

Rebuilding Employment

Since bottoming in the depths of the recession, many markets have bounced back significantly, with 38 markets having created more than 100,000 jobs. New York City (1,298,700) has created the highest level of job creation since bottoming. Combined, the below markets have expanded by 12.80 million jobs (17 percent) since troughing. For many markets, there is still work left to do, but each market below has indeed commenced its recovery.


Number of Jobs Created Since Troughing in Employment

In Texas, relatively small contractions experienced during the downturn paired with outsized job growth since propel the largest MSAs in that state to the top four spots of the below graph, representing recuperation of jobs lost after the Great Financial Crisis.

Note that Austin has now created 7.25 the number of jobs lost during the recession. Said another way, if Austin lost 100 jobs during the recession they’ve added back approximately 725.

Percentage of jobs lost added back



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