HFF is pleased to report on MSA Employment for the year ending December 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, New York and Houston were the only MSAs able to create more than 100,000 jobs. The top 14 MSAs were able to create more than 50,000 jobs.
Employment in national HFF markets grew by 2.01 percent in the 12 months ending December 2018, and, having added 1,244,200 jobs during the year, accounted for 46.8 percent of the nation’s headline growth.
The top 10 expanding employment bases below combined to account for approximately 29.4 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 Dallas, Houston, Phoenix 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 1.91 percent, the median of the 50 markets below. Orlando, Phoenix, Houston, Austin, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Jose, Dallas and Raleigh lead the markets with growth rates above three percent.
Employment growth continues to be strong, with approximately 36 markets now expanding at a rate in excess of 1.5 percent, and 27 markets exceeding the national average.
Here we can see that employment growth for 74 percent of the MSAs are accelerating compared with last year. Forty-six percent of the MSAs 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 all major MSAs tracked.
Here we can see that the unemployment rate is falling year over year for 33 of our 50 MSAs. Note that labor force growth is important in this narrative:
A total of four MSAs saw their labor force decline in the past year.
Thirty-five of our tracked MSAs have an Unemployment Rate less than the national level and 41 are below four percent.
Sources: HFF Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, Bloomberg, Oxford Economics
Prepared by: National Research Analyst Laura Bancroft