Job Growth Still Lags Pre-Recession Levels

Lisa Lambert  |   January 22, 2015

U.S. cities are poised to see a rise in employment this year but only about half of the nation’s cities are expected to return to the employment peaks they had reached before the recession, according to a newly released report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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All 363 metros analyzed are expected to see an uptick in job growth this year, marking the first strong comeback year post-recession. About 317 of the metro areas will likely see job growth of at least 1 percent in 2015.  

But many local economies still have a ways to go in reaching higher employment levels. Only 164 metro areas, around 45 percent, had returned to their pre-recession peak employment levels by the beginning of 2015. This percentage is expected to reach 55 percent of the 363 metros by the end of 2015, according to IHS Global forecast.

The unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in December, the lowest it has been in six years.

While employment is on the rise – viewed as an important factor in lifting housing – some mayors at a recent annual meeting expressed concerns that mostly low paying entry-level and part-time jobs were being created.

"You see a lot of the municipalities with more than 50 percent of the households under $50,000. What was the outcome of this job growth?" said Richard O'Brien, the mayor of Riverbank, California, at a session.

Source: Reuters