Cities With the Best & Worst Job Growth in 2021

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As the United States begins to lift lockdowns, the country’s economy is starting to heal from the damage done by the pandemic.

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Job Growth And Losses During The Pandemic

With the economy starting to pick up again, the job rate and growth throughout the country have noticeably changed. Some cities experienced job growth through the pandemic, while others experienced the opposite.

Best Job Growth

AdvisorSmith, a leading resource for small business and economic content, produced its newest study to find the U.S. cities experiencing the most and least job growth in 2021.

To find the top and bottom cities, AdvisorSmith examined the rates of job growth and job loss in 394 U.S. cities and states over the past two years, from March 2019 through March 2021.

The study ranked the 394 U.S. cities using data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each city’s employment level was listed in the study during March 2019, March 2020, and March 2021, along with the percentage of job growth in each city during the two-year study period.

During the two years between March 2019 and March 2021, the United States lost about 6.1 million jobs, with total employment dropping to 143 million in March 2021.

Cities With The Best Job Growth

Best Job Growth

From AdvisorSmith’s analysis, the city with the best job growth was Ocean City, NJ, with 12 percent job growth over two years. The city with the least amount of job growth was Kahului, HI, with a 25 percent loss in jobs over two years.

Worst Job Growth

AdvisorSmith also ranked the top small, midsize, and large cities by their job growth or losses. Small cities were defined by a population of less than 150,000, midsize cities ranging in population from 150,000 to 500,000, and large cities with over 500,000 residents.

Cities With The Highest Job Growth

The small, midsize, and large cities with the highest job growth were Ocean City, NJ (12 percent increase); St.George, UT (8.5 percent increase); and Lakeland, FL (5.3 percent increase).

AdvisorSmith additionally ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on their job growth or losses over the two-year study period.

Only three states added jobs in the past two years, while the rest of the states lost jobs.

Twenty states, primarily in the Midwest and the South, had job growth rates or job loss rates that were better than the national average. The other 30 states and Washington, D.C., suffered job losses that were worse than the national average.

From the analysis, AdvisorSmith found that Idaho had the highest job growth rate. Idaho had a job growth of 4.1 percent over the two years, adding about 30,900 jobs.

On the other hand, Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy lost the most jobs, reducing negative 16.3 percent, accounting for 107,400 lost jobs.

To view the complete study and job growth data by city and state, visit