SI Review: September 2011


Research Report: Hot Employment Spots

Hot Employment Spots

Silicon Valley, Dallas add jobs despite national slowdown

Employment growth slowed across the United States as midsummer approached. But not every area experienced the same pain. In fact, some metropolitan areas still posted healthy growth.

The technology sector boosted growth in California’s Silicon Valley — the hottest employment market — and the oil and gas sector helped fuel job creation in the Dallas area, the second-hottest.

Staffing Industry Analysts ranked metropolitan statistical areas by average private employment growth over the past year ending in June 2011 to determine which have experienced strong, consistent growth. Then a close look was taken at the top five metropolitan statistical areas with private employment of more than 500,000. Subsets of the metropolitan areas were also checked in order to provide a more detailed portrait of employment activity.

Here’s a look at the top five hottest areas for job growth:

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

  • Average private employment growth: 2.2 percent
  • Hot staffing segments include information technology, industrial and healthcare

THE BIG STORY in the Silicon Valley is the astonishing recovery in all aspects of technology. The information segment, which includes software publishing and online media, grew at 12.3 percent year over year in June and accounted for one out of three jobs created in the Silicon Valley area. Almost one out of every five jobs in this sector in California was created here over the past year, despite the area only containing 10.8 percent of the information jobs in California. In addition, computer and electronic product manufacturing grew at 5.0 percent, and computer systems and design grew at 2.8 percent.

The region also posted strong growth in manufacturing (3.7 percent growth over the past year), education and health services (3.3 percent, with particularly strong growth in hospitals: 5.8 percent and ambulatory healthcare services: 3.7 percent), and construction (3.0 percent).

Staffing firms appear to be taking note: the employment services industry, which includes professional employer organizations and staffing firms, saw employment grow at 4.7 percent.

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas

  • Average private employment growth: 2.2 percent
  • Hot staffing segments include industrial, office/clerical, healthcare and finance/ accounting

IT MAY NOT be morning in America yet, but it sure feels like morning in the Dallas-Plano-Irving metropolitan division, a subset of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area. The population center experienced 2.2 percent average private growth, and four industries are growing at a breakneck pace. Employment in oil and gas, financial activities, education and health services, and computer systems and design each grew more than 4 percent in the past year.

The strong growth in oil and gas exploration and extraction is part of a statewide rebound (15 percent employment growth year over year,) which began in earnest mid- 2010. In the past 12 months ending in June, 12.6 percent of new jobs in the state were created in oil and gas exploration and support activities.

Employment growth in financial activities and education and health services has been more or less spread across all sub-categories that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The only industry undergoing strong declines is information, which employs 5.9 percent fewer employees today than it did one year ago.

Buyers have turned to staffing firms to cope with this surge of hiring: the employment services industry in the Dallas area grew 16.0 percent in the past year.

Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.

  • Average private employment growth: 2.0 percent
  • Hot staffing segments: Industrial

THOUGH EMPLOYMENT in manufacturing stalled nationwide, durable goods manufacturing has shown strong growth in this division of the Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., metropolitan statistical area. Durable goods manufacturing employment rose 11.2 percent over the past year. This growth is very localized: This type of manufacturing employment in neighboring Detroit- Livonia-Dearborn grew only 1.2 percent.

Another area of strong growth in the Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills area is mining, logging and construction, which saw employment growth of 12.1 percent of the past year. Offsetting these gains was the government sector, which saw employment fall 6.4 percent over the past year.

While the employment services industry saw strong growth throughout 2010, employment growth has fallen to only 1.7 percent over the past year.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn.

  • Average private employment growth: 1.9 percent
  • Hot staffing segments include education, healthcare, office/clerical and professional staffing

EMPLOYMENT GROWTH in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., area is relatively spread out across most industries, though it has slowed somewhat. Employment in education services grew at 4.4 percent over the past year; healthcare and social assistance at 2.5 percent; and professional and business services at 2.5 percent. Employment in “other services” grew 3.6 percent.

While manufacturing employment grew only 1.8 percent, employment in manufacturing of durable goods grew 3.4 percent.

Executive placement firms should note that employment in management level employment grew at 9.4 percent over the past year.

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas

  • Average private employment growth: 1.9 percent
  • Hot staffing segments include industrial, retail and medical

ANOTHER AREA WHERE growth was more evenly spread is the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas region. The population center experienced strong growth in retail trade, where employment grew 3.9 percent over the past year. Education and health services posted employment growth of 3.7 percent, machinery manufacturing grew 3.3 percent, accommodation and food services rose 2.8 percent and wholesale trade of durable goods increased by 2.7 percent. “Other services” grew at 4.2 percent.

Employment services has also rebounded strongly, growing 7.5 percent.

Robert Balicki is a research associate at Staffing Industry Analysts. He can be reached at For more information about hot employment markets contact


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