Full-throttle job engine
In terms of job growth, Dallas-Fort Worth has climbed to the peak of the economic mountain in the United States.
A new report from commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield recognizes DFW as the brightest job-growth star among 35 major metro areas from 2009 — at the end of the Great Recession — to 2018.
For the report, Cushman & Wakefield analyzed the percentage change in job growth from 2009 to 2018 for the 35 metro areas and the number of jobs those regions added during the same period. The company’s researchers then averaged those two figures to compute an overall score for each metro area.
DFW landed on top, with an overall score of 5. In Cushman & Wakefield’s assessment, the lower the number, the better.
The report shows that from 2009 to 2018, DFW added 754,200 jobs for a growth rate of 25.7 percent. This April, the region’s unemployment rate dropped to a 20-year low (3 percent), according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Jessica Heer, senior vice president of talent attraction and leadership at the Dallas Regional Chamber and leader of its Say Yes to Dallas campaign, is hardly surprised by DFW’s showing in the Cushman & Wakefield report.
“Since 2010, the Dallas region has added more than 130 new headquarters. We are home to a range of companies, from Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 businesses to nonprofit organizations, which offers individuals diverse career opportunities,” Heer says.
“The primary selling point for attracting young talent and new business to the Dallas region is its affordability and availability of jobs,” she adds. “This offers the exciting opportunities — personally and professionally — of a major U.S. metro at a price point young professionals can afford.”
DFW was one of six “all-star” metro areas highlighted in the report. All of them have added jobs at a “breakneck pace” during the current economic expansion, Cushman & Wakefield says. At least for now, job growth in DFW shows little sign of letting up, in tandem with the area’s continuing population boom. Here are a few examples:
- Ride-hailing company Uber is considering Dallas for a corporate expansion that would create several thousand jobs.
- San Francisco-based financial services provider Charles Schwab is developing a corporate campus in Westlake that eventually will house about 6,000 employees.
- Healthcare industry giant McKesson recently shifted its headquarters from San Francisco to Las Colinas.
- Core-Mark, a distributor of fresh and frozen foods for convenience stores, is moving its headquarters from San Francisco to Westlake.
- Aeromax Industries, which makes parts for military aircraft, is relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles to Fort Worth.
In 2018, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas described the DFW economy as growing at a “blistering pace.” Also last year, the chief economist at Stewart Title Guaranty Co. called DFW “the mecca of job creation.”
In descending order, the all-star metros cited by Cushman & Wakefield are DFW; New York City and San Francisco, (each with a score of 7.5, tied for second place); Riverside-San Bernardino, California (score of 8, fourth place); Austin (8.5, fifth place); and Orlando, Florida (9, sixth place).
While Austin registered the largest percentage increase in jobs from 2009 to 2018 (38.1 percent), it added 295,000 jobs, putting it at No. 16 among the 35 metro areas for total employment growth. Once those two figures were averaged, Austin sat at No. 5 in the metro rankings.
Houston (score of 13 in the Cushman & Wakefield report) and San Antonio (score of 18.5) were among the metro areas in the next tier, which Cushman & Wakefield classified as “overachievers.” While not at the same level as the all-stars, these metros are outperforming the country as a whole, the report says.