Job Gains Slow in Many Top Markets in August

The usual suspects made up the job gain leaderboard in August, though hiring slowed in most, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New York, Dallas and Houston retained their places at #1 through #3 in August. Almost all of the remaining markets were in the top 10 list last month. Chicago dropped to #8 from #4 while Los Angeles moved up to that #4 spot and Phoenix leapt ahead of Seattle to land at #5. Seattle remained at #6 and Orlando moved ahead of Atlanta to #7. Behind Chicago, Atlanta slipped one spot to #9, and Philadelphia replaced Washington, DC at the #10 spot this month.

Only two of the top 10 had more jobs gained in the 12 months ending in August than in the 12-month period ending in July, with Orlando and Philadelphia gaining a few thousand jobs more than in July.

Washington, DC fell out of the top 10 in August. A temporary spike in Government employment in the metro in July pushed DC into the nation’s top 10 job gain markets. Gains in that sector receded in August, resulting in the market falling to the #14 spot this month.

Job gains in the remainder of the top 10 markets decreased by between 3,000 and 19,000 from July to August, with the largest decreases in Chicago, Atlanta and Houston.

In terms of overall gains, the total gains of the top 10 markets combined decreased from July, down 8.4% or about 60,000 fewer jobs added. The 648,000 jobs added in the top 10 markets comprised 31% of the total U.S. employment gain for the year.

Aside from Washington, DC being bumped to the #14 spot, seven of the next nine in the top 20 spots were returning metros. San Francisco, Boston and Riverside remained close to their rankings from last month. Denver jumped into the top 15 from #28 last month. San Jose also moved up sharply from #20 to #16. Miami, Charlotte and San Diego remained within one spot of their previous ranking while Cincinnati moved up one place into the #20 spot. Salt Lake City and Tampa fell out of the top 20 this month with 27,300 jobs added.

Outside of the top 10 list, the largest improvements in annual job gains occurred in St. Louis, Boston, Cincinnati, and Newark with an average increase of about 14,400 additional jobs gained than the year before.

There were several 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 Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Anaheim, Austin, Sacramento, Midland/Odessa and Las Vegas. Eighty-nine of the 150 markets in the list gained fewer jobs for the year-ending in August than the preceding 12 months.

However, only nine metro areas that make up RealPage’s top 150 apartment markets actually lost jobs in the year-ending August 2019, two more than last month and last year. Detroit and Minneapolis are the only markets that lost jobs in August that are of a significant size.

The major metros of Dallas and Orlando again made the top 10 list of metro areas for job growth as a percentage of total employment for August 2019. Other familiar metros in the top growth list are Reno, NV, and Salinas, CA, and the Florida markets of Port St. Lucie, Naples and Cape Coral-Fort Myers. Seattle and Fayetteville, AR barely missed the list this month as Colorado Springs and Tallahassee, TN both made this month’s top job growth markets list.

Comparing current annual job growth rates with those from one year ago, Champaign-Urbana, IL, Lexington, KY, Salinas, CA, and Jackson, MS more than doubled their growth rates with improvements of 200 to 310 basis points (bps). Metros with declining growth rates include: Midland/Odessa, TX (-1,090 bps), College Station, TX (-540 bps), Pensacola, FL (-290 bps), Shreveport, LA (-280 bps), and Boulder, CO (-270 bps).