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By: Alex Carrick on September 10th, 2019

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Florida and Ontario are Providing Some of the Best City Labor Markets

Economic News | alex carrick

Top Tier of U.S. City Labor Markets

In Table 1, the 51 most populous cities in the U.S. are ranked according year-over-year jobs growth (fastest to slowest) and unemployment rates (lowest to highest).

U.S. City Labor Markets Graphic

With respect to labor markets, there is a Top Tier of cities comprised of Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and San Jose. Each of those urban centers has a ranking within the best dozen for both year-over-year jobs increase and unemployment rate (U).

Orlando is 1st for jobs (+3.8%) and 12th for U (3.2%); Salt Lake City is 6th for jobs (+2.8%) and 5th for U (2.9%); San Jose is 8th for jobs (+2.6%) and 4th for U (2.8%); and San Francisco is 8th for jobs (+2.6%) and 5th for U (2.9%).

San Jose and San Francisco are where the bright young people go to work for some of the established giants in the digital field and for venture capital start-up firms. Orlando is a draw for employees in the theme park entertainment industry and for aerospace engineers and technicians commuting to launch sites on the nearby Atlantic Coast.

A Second-Best Tier for Hiring and Jobless Rates

There is a second-best tier of cities comprised of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, Tampa, and Austin. Each of those cities is among the elite dozen according to one criterion but falls a little short in the other.

Dallas Ft-Worth is 2nd in jobs creation (+3.5%), but 16th in U (3.4%); Miami and Tampa are tied for 11th in jobs (+2.4%), but 16th in U (3.4%); and Austin is 5th in U (2.9%), but 15th in jobs creation (+2.3%).

Also noteworthy for solid labor markets are: Birmingham (1st in U and 21st in jobs); Seattle (3rd in jobs and 22nd in U); Jacksonville (6th in jobs and 20th in U) and Nashville (15th in jobs and 16th in U).

In the analysis so far, four cities in Florida have been mentioned and two each in Texas and California.  

Phoenix has a high ranking in hiring (5th at +2.9%) but is weak in its unemployment rate (47th at 4.8%).

Boston and Denver are tied with Birmingham for lowest unemployment rates (2.7%). In jobs creation, however, they have been struggling – Denver is 31st (+1.5%) and Boston, 36th (+1.3%).

Table 1: U.S. City Labor Markets

Ranking by Year-over-year Jobs Change     Ranking by Unemployment Rate
Fastest to slowest     Lowest to Highest 
JULY 2019 vs JULY 2018     JULY 2019
               
               
1 Orlando, FL 3.8%     1 Birmingham, AL 2.7%
2 Dallas-Ft Worth, TX 3.5%     1 Boston, MA-NH 2.7%
3 Seattle, WA 3.4%     1 Denver, CO 2.7%
4 Houston, TX 3.0%     4 San Jose, CA 2.8%
5 Phoenix, AZ 2.9%     5 Austin, TX 2.9%
6 Jacksonville, FL 2.8%     5 Salt Lake City, UT 2.9%
6 Salt Lake City, UT 2.8%     5 San Francisco, CA 2.9%
8 Charlotte, NC-SC 2.6%     8 Richmond, VA 3.0%
8 San Francisco, CA 2.6%     9 Minneapolis-St Paul, MN-WI 3.1%
8 San Jose, CA 2.6%     9 Oklahoma City, OH 3.1%
11 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 2.4%     9 Virginia Beach, VA-NC 3.1%
11 Miami, FL 2.4%     12 Orlando, FL 3.2%
11 Riverside, CA 2.4%     13 Indianapolis, IN 3.3%
11 Tampa, FL 2.4%     13 San Antonio, TX 3.3%
15 Austin, TX 2.3%     13 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV 3.3%
15 Nashville, TN 2.3%     16 Dallas-Ft Worth, TX 3.4%
17 Las Vegas, NV 2.2%     16 Miami, FL 3.4%
18 Atlanta, GA 2.1%     16 Nashville, TN 3.4%
18 Portland, OR-WA 2.1%     16 Tampa, FL 3.4%
18 Raleigh, NC 2.1%     20 Atlanta, GA 3.5%
21 Birmingham, AL 2.0%     20 Jacksonville, FL 3.5%
21 New Orleans, LA 2.0%     22 San Diego, CA 3.6%
21 Sacramento, CA 2.0%     22 Seattle, WA 3.6%
21 San Diego, CA 2.0%     22 St. Louis, MO-IL 3.6%
25 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 1.9%     25 Hartford, CT 3.7%
26 Oklahoma City, OH 1.8%     25 Providence, RI-MA 3.7%
26 San Antonio, TX 1.8%     27 Milwaukee, WI 3.8%
26 St. Louis, MO-IL 1.8%     28 Columbus, OH 3.9%
29 Kansas City, MO-KS 1.6%     28 New York, NY-NJ-PA 3.9%
29 Richmond, VA 1.6%     28 Raleigh, NC 3.9%
31 Denver, CO 1.5%     31 Charlotte, NC-SC 4.0%
31 New York, NY-NJ-PA 1.5%     31 Houston, TX 4.0%
33 Chicago, IL-IN-WI 1.4%     31 Kansas City, MO-KS 4.0%
33 Los Angeles, CA 1.4%     31 Portland, OR-WA 4.0%
33 Providence, RI-MA 1.4%     31 Sacramento, CA 4.0%
36 Boston, MA-NH 1.3%     36 Baltimore, MD 4.1%
36 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV 1.3%     36 Chicago, IL-IN-WI 4.1%
38 Louisville, KY-IN 1.2%     36 Rochester, NY 4.1%
38 Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD 1.2%     39 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 4.2%
38 Virginia Beach, VA-NC 1.2%     40 Buffalo, NY 4.3%
41 Baltimore, MD 1.1%     40 Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD 4.3%
41 Cleveland, OH 1.1%     42 Pittsburgh, PA 4.5%
41 Milwaukee, WI 1.1%     43 Los Angeles, CA 4.6%
44 Columbus, OH 1.0%     43 Louisville, KY-IN 4.6%
45 Buffalo, NY 0.9%     43 Riverside, CA 4.6%
45 Rochester, NY 0.9%     46 Las Vegas, NV 4.7%
47 Hartford, CT 0.8%     47 New Orleans, LA 4.8%
47 Indianapolis, IN 0.8%     47 Phoenix, AZ 4.8%
49 Detroit, MI 0.3%     49 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 5.0%
50 Minneapolis-St Paul, MN-WI 0.1%     50 Cleveland, OH 5.1%
50 Pittsburgh, PA 0.1%     51 Detroit, MI 5.3%
               
  U.S.  1.5%       U.S.  4.0%

Green shade: Top tier of cities for both high jobs growth & low unemployment rates.
Orange shade: A second-best tier of cities for both solid jobs growth and little unemployment.

Based on not seasonally adjusted (NSA) data. / Cities are metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).
When the ranking numbers are the same, the cities are in a tie.

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Table: ConstructConnect.

Canada’s Top Tier Labor Markets – Brantford, Vancouver, & Sudbury

The U.S. has over 50 cities with populations of a million or more each. Canada has only six ‒ Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa-Gatineau. Therefore, a listing of Canada’s major urban centers includes smaller agglomerations.

The modest base sizes of many Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs) can lead to outsized percentage swings in jobs creation ‒ for example, Brantford’s +18.5% climb in employment year over year in July.

Brantford’s increase in nominal terms was +13,000 jobs y/y, spread among numerous industrial sectors. Next-door neighbors Brantford and Guelph have been numbers one and two in jobs creation and they are situated slightly west of Toronto, where a hotbed of high-tech activity ‒ aiding in the production of auto parts, solar panels and communications devices ‒ has sprouted.

In July, Canada’s Top Tier of cities for labor markets consisted of Brantford, Vancouver and Sudbury. Each of those three metro areas was among the nation’s best 10 for both net hiring and jobless rates. Brantford was 1st in jobs creation (+18.5%) and 6th in U (4.5%); Vancouver was 4th in jobs (+6.5%) and 3rd in U (4.0%); and Sudbury was 5th in jobs (+5.6%) and 10th in U (5.0%).

Sudbury is famous for its nickel and copper mining and the price of the former has been soaring, to a five-year high, since Indonesia announced that it would be banning export of its output beginning in January 2020.  

Five Canadian Cities in Next-Best Labor Market Tier

Five cities formed a next-best tier of labor markets in July: Guelph, 2nd in jobs creation (+7.2%) and 12th in U (5.1%); Halifax, 8th in jobs (+4.7%) and 13th in U (5.2%); Kingston, 7th in U (4.8%) and 12th in jobs (+3.3%); Ottawa-Gatineau, 7th in U (4.8%) and 13th in jobs (+3.2%); and Quebec City, 1st in U (2.3%) and 13th in jobs creation (+3.2%). 

Of the eight Canadian cities mentioned above, a majority (5) are in Ontario.

Table 1: Canadian City Labour Markets

Ranking by Year-over-year Jobs Change     Ranking by Unemployment Rate
Fastest to slowest     Lowest to Highest 
july 2019 vs july 2018     july 2019
               
               
               
1 Brantford, ON 18.5%     1 Québec City, QC 2.3%
2 Guelph, ON 7.2%     2 Victoria, BC 3.8%
3 Calgary, AB 6.6%     3 Vancouver, BC 4.0%
4 Vancouver, BC 6.5%     4 Kelowna, BC 4.3%
5 Sudbury, ON 5.6%     4 Sherbrooke, QC 4.3%
6 Saint John, NB 5.4%     6 Brantford, ON 4.5%
7 Abbotsford, BC 5.0%     7 Kingston, ON 4.8%
8 Halifax, NS 4.7%     7 Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC 4.8%
8 Windsor, ON 4.7%     9 Hamilton, ON 4.9%
10 Saguenay, QC 3.7%     10 Peterborough, ON 5.0%
11 Toronto, ON 3.6%     10 Sudbury, ON 5.0%
12 Kingston, ON 3.3%     12 Guelph, ON 5.1%
13 Barrie, ON 3.2%     13 Halifax, NS 5.2%
13 Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC 3.2%     13 Oshawa, ON 5.2%
13 Québec City, QC 3.2%     15 Regina, SK 5.3%
16 Moncton, NB 3.1%     15 Saguenay, QC 5.3%
16 St. John’s, NL 3.1%     17 Barrie, ON 5.4%
18 Kelowna, BC 2.9%     17 Winnipeg, MB 5.4%
19 Kitchener, ON 2.6%     19 Abbotsford, BC 5.5%
19 Regina, SK 2.6%     19 Kitchener, ON 5.5%
21 Saskatoon, SK 2.2%     21 Trois-Rivières, QC 5.6%
22 Winnipeg, MB 1.7%     22 Moncton, NB 5.7%
23 Edmonton, AB 0.9%     22 St. Catharines-Niagara, ON 5.7%
24 Peterborough, ON 0.5%     22 Toronto, ON 5.7%
25 Sherbrooke, QC 0.3%     25 London, ON 5.8%
26 Montréal, QC 0.1%     25 Montréal, QC 5.8%
27 Hamilton, ON 0.0%     25 Thunder Bay, ON 5.8%
28 Trois-Rivières, QC -0.4%     28 Saskatoon, SK 5.9%
29 Oshawa, ON -1.6%     28 Windsor, ON 5.9%
30 Victoria, BC -2.6%     30 Saint John, NB 6.8%
31 St. Catharines-Niagara, ON -3.2%     31 Calgary, AB 6.9%
32 Thunder Bay, ON -5.7%     32 Edmonton, AB 7.5%
33 London, ON -5.8%     33 St. John’s, NL 7.7%
               
  Canada 1.9%       Canada  5.7%

Green shade: Top tier of cities for both high jobs growth & low unemployment rates.
Orange shade: A second-best tier of cities for both solid jobs growth and little unemployment.

Based on averages of latest three months, seasonally adjusted (SA) data. Cities are census metro areas (CMAs).
When the ranking numbers are the same, the cities are in a tie.

Data source: Statistics Canada Table 14-10-0294-01.
Table: ConstructConnect.