US – Best Cities and States for Job Growth

The analysis is by Lee McPheters, research professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Comparing non-agricultural job data for January 2011 and January 2012, McPheters calculates that metro Denver-Aurora saw 2.47 percent job growth, adding 29,100 jobs in that time.

Denver ranked third among metros with 1 million or more people for its 2011 growth rate, McPheters said. It ranked seventh in 2010, with a 1.58 percent growth rate.  Houston ranked first in job growth over the one-year period among large metro areas (up 3.7 percent), followed by Atlanta (up 3.1 percent) and Denver, McPheters said.

Also in the top 10:

  • 4. Dallas — up 2.4 percent.
  • 5. Seattle — up 2.2 percent.
  • 6. Cincinnati — up 2.1 percent.
  • 7. Phoenix — up 1.9 percent.
  • 8. Riverside, Calif. — up 1.7 percent.
  • 9. Tampa, Fla. — up 1.7 percent.
  • 10. Pittsburgh — up 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s job growth rate last year was 2.15 percent, adding 47,400 jobs. Colorado ranked 16th for growth in 2010, at a rate of 1.29 percent.

Among the states, McPheters said that North Dakota saw the greatest non-farm job growth in 2011, up 6.3 percent, followed by:

  • 2. West Virginia — up 2.6 percent
  • 3. Utah — up 2.6 percent.
  • 4. Texas — up 2.5 percent.
  • 5. Louisiana — up 2.4 percent.
  • 6. Oklahoma — up 2.2 percent.
  • 7. Georgia — up 2.2 percent.
  • 8. Colorado — up 2.15 percent.
  • 9. Tennessee — up 2 percent.
  • 10. Kentucky — up 1.9 percent.

Four states lost jobs last year: Alaska, Missouri, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Nationwide, the one-year job growth rate was 1.5 percent in 2011, with nearly three-quarters of the new jobs in the service sectors. McPheters noted that job growth has generally been highest in energy-producing states.

McPheters is director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the Carey School of Business.

Click here for more information from McPheters’ “Job Growth USA” website.

Source: Biz Journal

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