MSA Employment Report for the Year Ending June 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

HFF is pleased to report on MSA Employment for the year ending June 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. Please note that we have added several new sections to the report to better explain the employment situation. 

Dallas and New York were the only MSAs able to create more than 100,000 jobs. The top eight MSAs were able to create more than 50,000 jobs. Employment in national HFF markets grew by 1.85 percent in the 12 months ending June 2018, and, having added 1,136,500 jobs during the year, accounted for 47.3 percent of the nation’s headline growth. The top ten expanding employment bases below combined to account for approximately 30.4 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 Houston, Phoenix, Dallas and Seattle remain in the top 10. Large markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago now lag given their respective percentage growth rates below 1.66 percent, the median of the 50 markets below. Orlando, Austin, Raleigh, Riverside, Houston, Jacksonville, San Jose, Phoenix and Dallas lead the markets with the only growth rates above three percent. Employment growth continues to be strong, with approximately 30 markets now expanding at a rate in excess of 1.5 percent and 26 markets exceeding the national average. 



Here we can see that employment growth for 40 percent of the MSAs are accelerating compared with last year. Thirty-four percent have growth rates closer to their five-year maximum than their five-year minimum.



Here we look at the difference between the five-year annualized forecasted employment growth and the annualized growth we’ve seen in the past five years. Growth is forecasted to slow substantially for most MSAs, with only Virginia Beach and Newark forecasted to have an increased rate.



Here we can see that the Unemployment Rate is falling for 39 of our 50 MSAs. Note that labor force growth is important in this narrative: 

  • Denver’s labor force grew by 3.6 percent year-over-year and still managed to have the second lowest Unemployment Rate of 2.9 percent.  
  • However, Hartford’s labor force shrunk by -1 percent, contributing to the decline in unemployment from 4.8 to 4.5 percent.  

A total of eight MSAs saw their labor force decline in the past year.


How to read: The vertical lines shows the range of the Unemployment Rate for the last two years.  The box shows the year-over-year change of the Unemployment Rate. If the box is black, the Unemployment Rate has decreased (the bottom of the box is the current rate and the top is last year's rate).  If the box is clear, it has increased (the top of the box is the current rate and the bottom is last year's rate).


Thirty-two of our tracked MSAs have an Unemployment Rate less than the national level, and, while 27 are below four percent, last month 44 were below four percent.  Though, note that this data is not seasonally adjusted.    


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

Prepared by: National Research Analyst Laura Bancroft

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