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Leading the nation in Labor Force Growth

August 31,2016 | By Larry Holt, VP of Business Development
On August 3, 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest data on employment, labor force, and unemployment, for the nation’s Metro areas. The June data showed the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area added 33,800 jobs from June of 2015 to June of 2016. Perhaps of more importance though is that the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSA led the nation in Labor Force Growth Rate among the 50 Largest metro areas in the US:
 
Civilian labor force by metropolitan area
Rank Metro Area May-15 May-16 Jun-15 June 2016(p) YoY Growth
1 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro 1,214,772 1,261,953 1,216,136 1,272,810 4.66%
2 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson 1,014,465 1,039,005 1,019,694 1,056,462 3.61%
3 Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin 938,946 964,149 948,387 981,891 3.53%
4 Austin-Round Rock 1,069,356 1,098,926 1,073,067 1,109,571 3.40%
5 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 2,851,166 2,886,883 2,838,467 2,921,019 2.91%
6 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 3,578,828 3,676,364 3,594,227 3,694,005 2.78%
7 Louisville/Jefferson County 626,724 637,557 630,325 647,601 2.74%
8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 2,152,636 2,214,817 2,163,417 2,222,639 2.74%
9 Raleigh 660,100 674,091 659,546 677,073 2.66%
10 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 1,506,096 1,545,640 1,516,377 1,554,973 2.55%
Source: Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area. Data analyzed and table created by GPI.

Why is this significant? In a tightening labor market such as the one we are currently experiencing, the ability of a region to draw new workers is critical to continued economic prosperity. The most recent state data, released August 19th, showed that Oregon and Washington respectively had the 2nd and 5th highest year over year changes in employment, demonstrating that the Northwest employers are enjoying the benefits of both a growing economy and a growing labor force. 
 

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