May Job Numbers Show Texan Cities Continue to Lead the Nation

by CoyDavidson on July 6, 2011

Research Matters

By: Ross Moore | Chief Economist, Colliers USA

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics published metropolitan-level job numbers for the month of May. 39 of the 60 (65%) metropolitan areas we track show year-over-year gains in employment. Dallas-Ft. Worth maintained the number one ranking in the country (first place in April, third place in March) with employment up by 2.54% year-over-year, followed by Milwaukee (2.49%) and Austin (1.96%). Milwaukee and Austin were ranked second and sixth last month. Houston came in fourth in May.

Three-month annualized growth, a more current measure, shows Kansas City, Austin and Memphis leading the country with employment growing at 7.06%, 5.34% and 4.82% respectively. This suggests Austin is likely to retain its top billing. Looking over the past few months, we see a limited number of cities ranking in the top ten. These included Dallas-Ft. Worth, Milwaukee, Austin, Houston, Raleigh and Seattle.

Also listed is the change in employment since the end of 2007 (the onset of substantial job losses associated with the financial crisis and recession). The only two cities in the list to have regained all the jobs lost in 2008 and 2009 are Austin and Houston. This challenging situation is likely to ease in coming months and hopefully more cities will join this coveted list. In the meantime, cities — and by extension, real estate markets — will be hamstrung by a smaller labor force occupying office space, shopping in malls and driving the demand for warehouse space.

Employment Ranking by Percent Change

Ross Moore is the Colliers International’s Chief Economist with a focus on providing bottom-up and top-down analysis of commercial real estate markets across the United States. In addition to his North America wide reports, Ross also authors all global research produced by Colliers.

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