The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2018 Job Growth Rates Across MSAs and Divisions

Axioms are truths, and my primary Axiom is that Jobs Are everything to an economy.  Period.   That is the speech topic for 2019.

Given an impressive 312,000 net new jobs created nationwide in December 2018 alone, many Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions  performed extremely well  in the 12-months ending December 2018.  Job growth, however, is not systemic across the country.  Variability in job growth exists across all states, MSAs and Divisions at any point in time and also within locations across time.    As usual, I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market or a National Economy.  The same is true regarding job growth.

The following table shows the 40 MSAs and Divisions posting the best job growth from the end of December 2017 to December 2018.   There are some partial duplications among the MSAs and Divisions.   The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metro Division ranked 36th best overall with a 3.35 percent job growth rate.  The parent MSA, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, grew jobs at 3.31 percent.   There are 436 MSAs and Metro Divisions.

As always, for every winner there is a loser.   The next table shows the bottom 40 ranked MSAs and Metros in 2018 job growth.  Each of the 40 either lost jobs or produced zero net new jobs in the 12-months ending December 2018.

The next table examines job growth (and loss) over a period longer than one-year.

The next table looks at the top-20 MSA-Division job growth rates over an extended time period.  In addition to the one-year job growth rate, it includes ranks of job growth over two-, five- and 10-years.   These ranks (for the intervals of 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-years) were then summed (the Growth Index Score), with the lowest sum ranked the best overall indicating the top-job performance (the Job Growth Index).  When using the Job Growth Index Rank for the four time periods, St George, Utah ranked best overall, scoring best in the 5-year period, third best in 2- and 10-Year time periods and 7th best for the 1-year span.  That is strong job performance over a decade.  All of the  top-20 are consistently strong performers in job creation in the past decade.

The following table shows the MSAs and Divisions with the worst job creation performance when looking at the combined 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-year intervals.

The following table details the 40 MSAs and Divisions with the greatest number of jobs added in 2018.  Naturally, the larger markets are favored in this ranking.  Note the overlap with the Dallas-Ft Worth-Arlington MSA ranking 1st best while the Dallas-Plano-Irving Metro (a subset of the MSA) ranking 4th.

Click here for the PDF featuring these metrics in one fashion or another for all 436 MSAs and Divisions listed alphabetically by state.

Jobs are everything.  Some places were hot in 2018 and others not.

Reply back if you have any questions.


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