The Golden State
shone for employment growth from 1998 to 2003, according to
data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Between January 1998 and January 2003, California boasted
4 of the 7 large metropolitan areas in the United States in
which employment growth was more than triple that of the
Nation’s overall. Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment
increased 4.7 percent over the period, as the Nation
struggled through an economic downturn. During that time,
many metropolitan areas experienced little employment growth
or lost thousands of jobs. As the chart shows, however,
employment in 11 of the metropolitan areas with at least
300,000 jobs in January 2003 grew by at least 2½ times the
national rate over the same period—and 2 of them increased
at more than 5 times the national rate.
But before packing your bags for one of these
metropolitan areas, remember that these data do not show the
variation in the kinds of jobs added. For a discussion of
occupational earnings by location and other considerations
for relocating, see "Whereabouts and wealth: A study of
local earnings and how they vary" in the spring Occupational
Outlook Quarterly. The article is online at www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2003/spring/art02.pdf.