MSA Employment Report for the Year Ending February 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

HFF is pleased to report on MSA Employment for the year ending February 2018. Our research team analyzes trends and data to give readers a better view into the current state of the economy and how employment is being affected.

New York, Dallas and Los Angeles were the only two MSAs able to create more than 90,000 jobs. The top eight MSAs were able to create more than 50,000 jobs.

Employment in national HFF markets grew by 1.72 percent in the 12 months ending February 2018 and, having added 1,052,900 jobs during the year, accounted for 46.3 percent of the nation's headline growth. The top 10 expanding employment bases below combined to account for approximately 30.8 percent of the nation's overall growth in the past year.

Altering our perspective to percentage growth (to level the playing field), we see that Riverside, Seattle, Phoenix and Dallas remain in the top 10. Large markets such as New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago now lag given their respective percentage growth rates below 1.57 percent, the median of the 50 markets below. Riverside, Austin, Orlando and Seattle lead the markets with the only growth rates above three percent.

The employment recovery is definitely still underway, with approximately 27 markets now expanding at a rate in excess of 1.5 percent and 25 markets exceeding the national average.

Every market is either growing or contracting. Each market’s pace may be accelerating or decelerating. The graph below demonstrates each MSA’s trajectory over the past six months. The majority of the top 50 MSAs in the country are growing – around half at an accelerating and the remaining at a decelerating rate over the past six months. The only market that has been slowing is New Orleans with a year-over-year employment growth rate of -0.68 percent.

Sources: HFF Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, Bloomberg

Prepared by: HFF Research Analyst Aziza Rehmatulla

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