Chicago Jumps to #3 for Job Gains in June

Hiring activity picked up in the nation’s third largest metropolitan area, sending Chicago up to the #3 spot for annual job growth in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chicago gained 84,800 jobs in the 12 months ending in June, almost 20,000 more jobs than the 12-month total for May and more than 50,000 additional jobs than the annual figure for June 2018. Several industries saw hiring activity strengthen, including Professional and Business Services, Wholesale Trade, Education and Health Services and Manufacturing.

Chicago’s move up displaced Houston, which with New York and Dallas made up the top metros for job gains every month so far in 2019.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment data, the New York and Dallas metro divisions retained their places at #1 and #2 in June. Houston and Phoenix each slipped down one spot to #4 and #5 while Los Angeles remained in the #6 spot. Atlanta and Seattle switched places at #7 and #8, as did Orlando and San Francisco at #9 and #10.

All but one of the top 10 had more jobs gained in the 12 months ending in June than in the 12-month period ending in May, with Chicago, Orlando and Dallas seeing the sharpest increases of 19,800, 8,000 and 7,600 each, respectively. Job gains in the remaining markets increased by between 1,000 jobs and 6,700 jobs, while San Francisco gained about 5,000 fewer jobs on an annual basis than last month.

Compared to the 12-month period ending in June 2018, only three markets had annual job gains less than the current annual pace, with Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York slowing by about 6,000 jobs. After Chicago’s big gain, Dallas, Seattle and Houston gained an average of about 27,000 more jobs in the year-ending June 2019 than in the preceding 12 months, while the remainder of the top 10 averaged about 8,000 to 10,000 more jobs than last year.

In terms of overall gains, the total gains of the top 10 markets combined increased from May, up 7.8% or about 51,100 more jobs added. The 705,600 jobs added in the top 10 markets comprised 31% of the total U.S. employment gain for the year.

Seven of the next 10 in the top 20 spots were returning metros. Philadelphia, Charlotte, Tampa and Riverside remained close to their rankings from last month, as did San Jose, San Diego and Portland. Moving into the top 20 in June were Boston, Washington, DC and St. Louis. The three metros that fell out of the top 20 – Miami, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas – dropped seven, 10 and 27 spots, respectively.

Outside of the top 10 list, the largest improvements in annual job gains occurred in St. Louis, New Orleans and Phoenix, with an average increase of about 15,000 additional jobs gained than the year before.

There were more metros that saw annual job gains slow by at least 10,000 jobs than there were metros that gained 10,000 or more jobs than the previous 12 months. Significant slowing in job gains occurred in Riverside, Midland/Odessa, Raleigh/Durham, Denver, Detroit and Austin. Eighty of the 150 markets in the list gained fewer jobs for the year-ending June 2019 than the preceding 12 months.

However, only eight of the metropolitan areas that correspond with RealPage’s top 150 apartment markets lost jobs in the year-ending June 2019, one less than last month and only three more than last year. None of the markets that lost jobs in June were of a significant size.

The major markets of Orlando, San Francisco, Phoenix and Dallas made the top 10 list for job growth as a percentage of total employment for June 2019. Other familiar markets in the top growth list are Reno, NV, Provo, UT, Boise City, ID and the Florida markets of Port St. Lucie, Naples and Cape Coral-Fort Myers.

Comparing current annual job growth rates with those from one year ago, Lexington, KY, New Orleans, LA, Jackson, MS, and Springfield, MA more than doubled their growth rates, with improvements of 230 to 260 basis points (bps). Markets with declining growth rates include Midland/Odessa, TX (-1,110 bps), Salisbury, MD (-280 bps), Columbus, GA (-230 bps), Grand Rapids, MI (-220 bps), Raleigh/Durham (-200 bps) and Youngstown, OH (-200 bps).