Best (and Worst) Performing Metropolitan Statistical Area Job Markets - May 2022

Jobs are everything to the economy and create the ultimate demand for real estate. Period.

After losing 22 million jobs in the U.S. in March and April 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. is back to within 822,000 positions to get back, at least numerically, to where the country was in February 2020. That recovery, however, is not uniform across the country.

Out of the 380 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports seasonally adjusted employment data monthly, one-third (131 or 34.5 percent) now have as many jobs as they did prior to the pandemic. The first three tables detail the MSAs that are least back to pre-pandemic employment numbers (February 2020), sorted from those that have added the greatest percentage increase down to just breaking even.

The 40 worst-performing MSAs from February 2020 through May 2022 are detailed in the next table.

As of May 2022, 87.4 percent of all U.S. jobs were in MSAs. Among the 36 MSAs with at least 1 million jobs, 14 (38.9 percent) had returned to pre-pandemic levels of jobs or better. The 36 MSAs with 1 million or more jobs made up 60.0 percent of all jobs across the MSAs and more than one-half (52.4 percent) of all jobs in the U.S. Job performance metrics since February 2020 (the month prior to the pandemic) are shown in the next table for these 36 MSAs. Within the 14 that posted a net gain in total jobs since the commencement of the pandemic, one-half (7), had zero state income taxes.

The latest 1-month job growth rate is attached in the next four tables showing the 80 best- and 80 worst-performing job markets from April to May 2022. The extreme differences across the U.S. in job markets are illustrated by comparing the top-performing MSA, Bloomington, Indiana with a 1-month gain of 3.8 percent to the worst, Racine, Wisconsin, down 1.7 percent.

Best Performing MSA Job Markets – 1 Month

Worst Performing MSA Job Markets – 1 Month

Click here for PDF detailing these and other employment metrics for all 380 MSAs as of May 2022 sorted by state and MSA.

Jobs are everything to an economy with the rate of both recovery and growth highly variable across the country. There is no one-size fits all statement when it comes to job performance metrics.