Markets with Employment Above Pre-Great Recession Peaks

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Despite recent losses, the total employment base in some markets still sits well above their pre-Recession peak from 1st quarter 2008. Overall, the nation’s job base is about 540,000 employees shy of the pre-Great Recession peak – a clear testament to the massive economic contraction that COVID-19 has brought on. Some markets, however, gained enough jobs during the economic upcycle in the past decade, that their employment base is still ranking above pre-Great Recession levels. The overwhelming majority of those markets were in Texas. In fact, Austin’s current employment base is 30.9% ahead of the 1st quarter 2008 level, with 242,000 more jobs, despite recent losses in the early months of 2020. Other Texas markets with job bases currently above pre-Great Recession levels are Dallas, San Antonio and Forth Worth. In Dallas, the job base is 19% above the early 2008 peak despite huge layoffs and furloughs in recent months. On the other hand, some markets are sitting well below their pre-Great Recession peaks, including Northeast markets Newark, Providence and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the outsized impact of Leisure/Hospitality sector layoffs has pushed the current employment base in Las Vegas well below its pre-Great Recession peak.