Texas, Southeast and Mountain West Dominate Job Market

December 20, 2021
Author: Mallory Vachon, Ph.D., Sr. Economist

LaborIQ® December 2021 Market Index: Top Metros for Hiring and Talent Acquisition

High-growth areas can increase their talent pool by sourcing from other metros, while lagging metros must focus on retaining limited supply.

Job gains slowed in November, but some markets saw major growth and expansion. Twenty-seven of the 150 metros ranked in the LaborIQ® Market Index have already exceeded their pre-pandemic employment levels – up from 21 metros in October. Dallas, Austin and Phoenix – topping the list – have recovered all jobs lost to the pandemic. These metros are expanding rapidly due to job growth and population growth driven by net migration. Other areas in the Northeast, Midwest and Gulf Coast continue to struggle recouping lost jobs and retaining talent.

LaborIQ® Market Index: Top Metros for Hiring and Talent Acquisition

For markets with strong recoveries, talent acquisition professionals will need to be even more proactive to find talent, and businesses will need to focus on retaining employees.

Key Takeaways: Road to Recovery & Growth

The LaborIQ Market Index top-10 rankings illustrate the strong labor markets and recoveries across the southern U.S., Southwest, Mountain West and Pacific Northwest regions.

1. Dallas recovers, tops the list yet again | The market – which has held the No. 1 spot since April 2021 and been in the top 5 since October 2020 – became the largest to recover all jobs lost to the pandemic.

2. Who’s in, who’s out | Nashville and Naples dropped out of the top 10. But Tampa re-entered at No. 6, and Durham-Chapel Hill, NC came in at No. 9.

3. Some states stand out | Texas, Florida and North Carolina each have two markets in the top 10.

Many metros ranked in the top 10 have had strong economic performance throughout 2021, driven largely by job gains and net migration. Talent acquisition professionals in these markets will be working to fill open roles and retain talent.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy reports, forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact to jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities.