Since 2010, 28 metros have seen at least half its new jobs created in occupations that pay a living wage, according to CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists analysis
- Quarterly index ranks the labor markets of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the United States
- Since 2010, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX and Detroit, MI lead nation in job growth above the cost of living
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Led by Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas and Detroit, Michigan, 28 U.S. metros saw at least 50 percent of its new jobs since 2010 created in occupations that pay a living wage for households with two adults and one child. Sixty-six percent of new jobs in the seaport and energy driven Beaumont-Port Arthur region pay above the area's $16.46 cost of living. A rebound in high-skill manufacturing jobs is responsible for Detroit's 64 percent rate. See the full list below.   

This analysis is released in conjunction with CareerBuilder's and Economic Modeling Specialists International's (EMSI) quarter two publication of the Labor Market 150 Index – a ranking of the labor markets in the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The quarterly index is comprised of several historical and leading indicators that measure the overall dynamism of metropolitan job markets, including job growth above the cost of living, employment levels, unemployment rates, growth projections and job listings.  

Propelled by 16 percent employment growth since 2010 and 39 percent growth in job postings over the last 12 months, San Jose-Sunnyvale, California, jumped from No. 15 to No. 4 in the index's overall rankings. Provo-Orem, Utah, remains No. 1.


Metros creating the most living wage jobs
Living wages for households with two adults and one child are determined by MIT's Living Wage Calculator (2013 figures). A living wage covers basic family and household expenses, incorporates estimated taxes and assumes individuals are working full-time. The share of job growth above the cost of living only includes net employment growth in growing occupations with median hourly earnings above the living wage. For example, a new job created at one business could not be captured if it was in an occupation seeing overall employment declines in that region.

Two metros known for its high concentration of knowledge jobs and STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – sectors, San Jose, California and Seattle, Washington, also appear in the top ten. The following are the 28 metros with 50 percent or higher job growth above the cost of living since 2010:


% Job Growth Above Cost of Living (2010-2014)

Living Wage (2013)

Notable High-Growth Occupation(s)

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX



Petroleum Pump/Refinery Operators

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI



Team Assemblers, Mechanical Engineers

Peoria, IL



Industrial Engineers, Insurance Sales Agents

Reading, PA



Welders, Metal & Plastic Machine Workers

Mobile, AL



Metal Refining Furnace Operators, Production Managers 

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA



Marketing Specialists, Web Developers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA



Software Developers, Information Systems Managers

Rockford, IL



Team Assemblers, Machinists

Pittsburgh, PA



Oil & Gas occupations, Insurance Sales Agents 

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY



Plumber/Pipefitters, Industrial Engineering Technicians

York-Hanover, PA



Truck Drivers

Ann Arbor, MI



Personal Financial Advisors, Internists 

Trenton, NJ



Computer Programmers, Computer Support Specialists 

Fort Wayne, IN



Team Assemblers, Truck Drivers 

Akron, OH



Marketing Specialists, Machinists 

Lansing-East Lansing, MI



Sales Reps (Science/Tech. Products), Software Developers

Rochester, NY



Real Estate Agents, Insurance Sales Agents

Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA



Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Software Developers

Tulsa, OK



Welders, Inspectors/Testers

Lancaster, PA



Postsecondary Teachers, Construction Supervisors

Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA



Civil Engineers, Computer Systems Analysts

Toledo, OH



Team Assemblers, Electricians 

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI



Food Scientists/Technologists, Physical Therapists 

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO



Architects, Petroleum Engineers

Kansas City, MO-KS



Software Developers, Healthcare Social Workers

Cleveland-Elyria, OH



Commercial Pilots, Cost Estimators

Anchorage, AK



Petroleum Engineers, Medical Assistants

Madison, WI



Computer Programmers, Marketing Specialists

Metros with the smallest share of new living wage jobs
Twenty of the 150 largest metros had a share of less than 25 percent of its new jobs since 2010 created in occupations that pay a living wage, including five Florida metros in the bottom 10.


% Job Growth Above Cost of Living

Living Wage (2013)

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX



Tallahassee, FL



Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL



Ocala, FL



Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL



McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX



Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC



Port St. Lucie, FL



Urban Honolulu, HI



Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL



About the Labor Market 150 Index
Data used to compile the Labor Market 150 Index is primarily based on EMSI's extensive labor market dataset. EMSI, a CareerBuilder company, gathers and integrates economic, labor market, demographic, and education data from more than 90 government and private-sector sources, creating a comprehensive and current database that includes both published data and detailed estimates. This iteration of the index uses EMSI's 2015.1 Class of Worker dataset and does not include self-employed workers.

Labor Market 150 Index variables are weighted separately and arranged into four groups.

  • Using EMSI's proprietary data set, Employment Rank includes total-industry job growth rates pre-and-post-recession, as well as projected growth rates from 2014 to 2020.
  • Quality Employment Rank includes job growth rates among each metro's key driver industries over the same time frames, as well as the share of new jobs in growing occupations created since 2010 with median hourly earnings at or above the metro's living wage for two adults and one child, as determined by the MIT Living Wage Calculator.
  • Job Postings Growth captures the change in the number of unique online listings from March 2014 to February 2015, and along with each metro's Unemployment Rate, provides the index's best look at current market situations.

For more notes on individual variables, see the Labor Market 150 home page.

About EMSI
Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., a CareerBuilder company, turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, EMSI builds user-friendly services that help educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions. For more information, visit

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

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SOURCE CareerBuilder