Boston Surges in Labor Rankings

by Alonzo Turner

CareerBuilder releases new labor market rankings


In late May, CareerBuilder released its second quarter Labor Market 150 Index, which attempts to evaluate and rank the country’s largest metros. Using data from the employment website’s data arm, EMSI, or Economic Modeling Specialists International, the index cites a number of measures, including quality employment and job postings – of which some are weighted more heavily than others – and converts the results into overall rankings (represented as a percentage). This quarter’s top spot went to Provo, Utah.

Slightly further down the list, Boston, with an overall score of 57 percent, which put the metro at 24, jumped an impressive 10 spots from the last quarter. Boston is now the highest-ranked major market on the eastern seaboard. However, while its labor market has show drastic signs of improvement, a lack of growth in key driver industries coupled with high home prices and limited inventory threaten the area’s long-term economic stability.

Overall Rank Graph

One of the primary measures of CareerBuilder’s index was “quality employment rank,” which is determined using metro-specific employment fluctuations in key driver industries from 2001 to 2014, as well as projections from 2014 to 2020. EMSI defines a “driver industry” as “any industry with 1,000 or more jobs in 2014, average industry earnings of at least $50,000 and an employment concentration or location quotient at least 20 percent above the national average.”

In its analysis, Boston’s performance was lackluster.

Quality Employment Graph

Another key measure in the index was “job postings growth,” which captures the change in the number of unique online listings from March 2014 to Feb. 2015.

In Boston, unique job postings put the city at No. 4, which could suggest the emergence of new industries in the area.

Job Postings Growth Graph

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