An Update on The Labor Market


The economy is steadily recovering from the job market decline caused by COVID-19, and hiring seems to be surging across the U.S. According to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, payrolls saw a 678,000-worker increase in February, going up by 200,000 from January.

Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, down to 6.3 million people, as more people secured jobs. Job growth seems to be accelerating thanks to the demand for manpower across many industries. The job market seems to be back to its prepandemic state by most accounts.

The growth in employment was widespread, with significant increases in hospitality, leisure, professional services, business services, health care, and construction. Employment in the transport and warehousing sector also saw a 48,000-worker increase in February. The economy will most likely recover the jobs lost in 2020 due to the pandemic if hiring trends continue with this upward trajectory.

Although overall hiring seems to have grown in February, the report also showed weakness in a few areas. For one, there was an increase in the employment-to-population ratio for most demographic groups, but the ratio decreased for Black women. The unemployment rate for Black adult males also fell to 6.6%, but it still remains more than two times that of white males.

Deceleration of Wage Growth

Wages are growing, but the pace seems to be slower compared to earlier in the year. The average wage rose by 6.5% among nonmanagerial workers. This is mostly due to the growing supply of laborers in the market, giving employers more options when hiring. With the high inflation levels, employers are under pressure to increase wages to retain employees.

Best-Performing Cities

Cities are powerhouses when it comes to economic growth. They are the hub for new, high-paying jobs that attract job seekers from all over the country. Each area, however, has a unique set of characteristics based on investments and policy choices that ultimately affect economic outcomes.

The Best-Performing Cities (BPC) Index uses a wide variety of metrics, including output growth, wage gains, and job creation, to evaluate the performance of these metropolitan areas. This index aims to help you assess how well the cities are doing compared to their peers. Most of these cities combine steady growth and dynamic innovation to remain competitive regardless of national and global forces that affect their economic performance.

According to the  BPC Index, the following were the 10 best-performing cities in 2021:

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Palm Bay, Florida
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Boise, Idaho
  7. Phoenix, Arizona
  8. Nashville, Tennessee
  9. Ogden, Utah
  10. Huntsville, Alabama

Worst-Performing Cities

For most communities in the U.S., the job market has been improving significantly for quite some time now. However, some cities appear to be experiencing slow or nonexistent job growth. Based on research by  Statista, the following larger metropolitan areas have high unemployment rates and weak job growth:

  1. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio                                                           
  2. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada                               
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                         
  4. Los Angeles, California                                                         
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino, California                                   
  6. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York/New Jersey                                                                                                           
  7. Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Texas                                                                   
  8. Philadelphia, Camden, Wilmington, Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware                                                           
  9. Memphis, Tennessee                                                            
  10. Detroit, Michigan                                                        


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