The United States nonfarm employment increased by 222,000 in May, as the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4%. Unemployment remains close to its lowest point in a decade.
Five years ago, the U.S. job market was still recovering from the effects of the Great Recession, as the national unemployment rate was about double what it is today. Across the country, after years of job losses, a number of metropolitan areas struggled with much, much higher jobless rates.
> Employment increase 2012-2017: 17.6%
> Employment increase 2012-2017: 187,407
> May unemployment: 3.6%
> Industry contributing most to job growth: Leisure and hospitality
> Employment growth in leisure and hospitality sector: 54,700
In the last five years, many of these metropolitan areas have reversed course, adding in some cases tens of thousands of employed workers to the economy and in most cases reaching more optimal unemployment levels. The metropolitan areas that added the most jobs can be found across the country.
The metropolitan areas that saw employment grow as much as 30% over the past five years, tended to benefit from growing professional sectors, while construction, leisure and hospitality, or business jobs were the primary driver for growth in others with substantial increases in total employment.