I've been expecting something biblical to happen for awhile now, but who knew it would start with the job market?
An interesting result from our Best and Worst Metro Job Markets report is that the very best job markets at the moment (those that are expanding, or at least declining less) tend to be smaller; and the very worst markets (those that are declining, particularly at an accelerating rate) tend to be larger.
Among the fifty best performing job markets, the average size was 190,000 workers--roughly half the average size of the fifty worst markets.
Not one city of greater than a million workers made it to the best performing metros list, and only six of greater than half a million workers were considered best performing: Washington D.C., Austin TX, New Orleans LA, Bethesda MD, Oklahoma City OK, San Antonio TX.
By contrast, the worst performing metro job markets included five metros of greater than million workers--Detroit MI, Phoenix, AZ, Riverside-San Bernadino CA, Orlando FL and Cleveland OH--as well as an additional six metros of greater than half a million workers: Las Vegas NV, Charlotte-Gastonia SC, Portland OR, Milwaukee WI, Sacramento CA and San Francisco CA.
This pattern was not 100% consistent--some large job markets outperformed relatively, and not all small job markets are doing well--and it's not clear how long it will hold, but nonetheless, at the moment it does seem the smaller and mid-sized markets have the advantage.