Major US City Snapshots
10/4/2007 5:37:00 AM -
The Las Vegas economy has clearly moved out of the fast lane. Over the past year-and-a-half, employment growth has slowed from +7.2% year over year (1st among the largest 50 U.S. metro areas) to +1.9% (18th). Shrinking personal wealth due to falling house prices in much of the U.S. will extend the current pattern of weak employment growth in the city's critical leisure and hospitality industry. However, the significant decline in value of the U.S. should lead to a gradual increase in foreign visitors.
10/4/2007 5:35:00 AM -
Although there are signs that Atlanta has lost some of the job strength that it had mid-way through 2006, the most recent employment statistics indicate that the metro economy still has plenty of momentum heading into 2008. This underlying strength is evident in the fact that average employment in construction, year to date in 2007, is up by 3.3% versus last year, despite the headwind of a sharp 30% drop in residential building permits this year to date.
8/31/2007 7:50:00 AM -
Philadelphia's economy is currently moving in tandem with the national economy, as it has done over the past decade. While Philadelphia is not the fastest-growing urban area among all U.S. cities in terms of employment growth, it has grown by an almost constant 1.0% year over year for the past four years. By comparison, job growth for the country as a whole has averaged 1.7% over the same period. Looking forward, Philadelphia's prospects appear solid, but mixed.
8/31/2007 7:31:00 AM -
Houston's economy has steadily lost momentum over the past six months, but still ranks high (in third place) among the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S. in terms of job growth (+3.1% year over year in June 2007). The key driver of Houston's economy over the past two-and-a-half years has been the energy and petrochemicals sector. This will continue to support Houston's demand for labor and make the region attractive to job-seeking immigrants from other regions over the next several quarters.
The Seattle economy is entering the second half of 2007 buoyed by robust growth of employment in several sectors: information services (+6.2% year over year); professional and technical services (+4.5%); construction (+4.4%); education (+4.0%); and manufacturing (+3.7%). The metro area’s strong appetite for workers has caused a steady inflow of migrants drawn by the region’s attractive location and its relative affordability, compared to other west-coast major urban centers.
Economic activity in Baltimore’s metro area, as reflected by year-over-year employment growth, has gradually slowed from +2.0% at the beginning of 2006 to only +0.2% in June of 2007. The sectors experiencing the most marked deceleration have been manufacturing, transportation and trade, information services and construction. However, three sectors have also seen significant year-over-year increases in employment — education and health services, professional services and leisure and hospitality.
7/9/2007 1:39:00 PM -
The Tampa economy is taking a breather. After peaking at 5.4% year-over-year job growth in late 2004, the metro area has trended steadily lower to 1.1% in May 2007. Despite strong net migration and sustained (albeit sluggish) employment growth, single-family housing demand in Tampa has virtually collapsed. However, steady growth of office-based employment has caused the office vacancy rate to fall to its lowest level since mid-2001, improving the outlook for commercial construction.
7/9/2007 11:59:00 AM -
While Milwaukee continues to lag behind the national average in terms of employment growth, the metro economy has picked up some momentum over the past 12 months. The education and health sector has recently made a significant contribution to job growth and there are indications that blue collar jobs are picking up again. Two recent surveys point to an improvement in employment that will underpin consumer spending and home rental demand into 2008.
6/21/2007 9:00:00 AM -
Among major metro areas in the U.S., the health of the San Francisco economy is clearly well above average. In March 2007, year-over-year employment growth in the metro area was 2.1%, putting it in position number eight among the 27 U.S. cities with populations of one million and over. Robust job growth in finance, insurance and real estate and professional and business services has more than offset a protracted decline (until recently) in information services, helping to lower office vacancy rates.
6/21/2007 8:55:00 AM -
In Jacksonville, single-family building permits were down 52% year to date in March 2007. Despite this major contraction in single-family house construction, the overall health of the Jacksonville economy appears quite robust. The relatively strong pace of job creation over the past year has pushed Jacksonville's unemployment rate down to 3.1% in the latest month. This figure is the second lowest rate among the 50 largest metro areas in the United States.