A few cities and states have offered job seekers far friendlier climates than the nation at large this year.
The cities and states that make this list have experienced the strongest non-agricultural job growth over the first three quarters of 2015, according to analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by Professor Lee McPheters at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Projections show he U.S. on track to add 3 million jobs this year, indicating a 2.2% monthly average in national job growth, an increase of about 1.8% since last year.
Topping the list of cities and metro areas (including one million or more workers) for job growth thus far this year is San Jose, California¬†with 5.5% growth so far in 2015‚ more than twice the nationwide average. Orlando, Riverside, Dallas, and Seattle round out the top five, all with job growth of 3.5% or above.
According to the report, four of the 30 U.S. labor markets with one million or more workers actually have job creation below one percent: St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Northern Virginia.
As for state rankings, one third of jobs created across the U.S. since the beginning of 2015 come from California, Texas, and Florida, but Utah takes first place, knocking North Dakota off its throne with 4.6% growth.
“Utah leads the nation in job growth for the first three quarters,” states McPheter’s report. “The Beehive state is in a class by itself, with job creation of more than 4%.”
North Dakota held the top spot for six years but falls to 32nd in this analysis as a result of tumbling oil and gas prices.
Next are Washington and Florida, a full percentage point behind Utah but still far above the national and tied with 3.5% growth. Oregon and Nevada, both topping 3%, follow, round out the top five.
“Unlike prior years when the energy sector was booming, construction is the new job growth driver‚” said McPheters. “On the services side, health care is a source of new jobs.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Maine, Louisiana, Wyoming, Alaska, and West Virginia share the unhappy distinction of being the 10 states with the least job growth, each with less than 1% growth since the beginning of the year. In fact, 50th place West Virginia has experienced negative growth over the past year.
The Top 10 Cities For Job Growth* in 2015
1. San Jose, California – up 5.5%
2. Orlando, Florida – up 4.1%
3. Riverside, California – up 3.9%
4. Dallas, Texas – up 3.6%
5. Seattle, Washington – up 3.5%
6. Atlanta, Georgia – up 3.4%
7. San Francisco, California – up 3.3%
8. Denver, Colorado – up 3.1% (tie)
8. San Diego, California – up 3.1% (tie)
8. Portland, Oregon – up 3.1% (tie)
The Top 10 States For Job Growth* in 2015
- 1. Utah – up 4.1%
2. Washington – up 3.5% (tie)
2. Florida – up 3.5% (tie)
4. Oregon – up 3.3%
5. Nevada – up 3.2%
6. Idaho – up 3.0% (tie)
6. California – up 3.0% (tie)
8. South Carolina – up 2.9%
9. Georgia – up 2.8%
10. North Carolina – up 2.7%
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