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Orlando, Florida tops largest U.S. metro areas in job creation

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Staff writer ▼ | March 8, 2016
Of the nation's 50 largest metro areas, Orlando, Florida, had the highest rate of net job creation in 2015.
Where to find work   The major U.S. metro areas have above-average job creation
This is according to employees' reports of hiring activity where they work. Rounding out the top five are Salt Lake City, Utah; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; and San Francisco, California.

Orlando has recently experienced strong hiring growth in the hospitality and leisure sector - the greatest source of jobs in the area, which is known for its theme parks.

San Francisco has long been a major technology hub, and Austin and Salt Lake City have made gains in technology jobs in recent years as well. Technology and healthcare are two of the major drivers of job growth in the Louisville area.

These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviewing in 2015. Gallup asks full- and part-time employed Americans each night whether their place of employment is hiring workers and expanding the size of its workforce, letting workers go and reducing the size of its workforce, or not changing.

The Job Creation Index is the percentage of workers who say their employer is hiring minus the percentage who say their employer is letting workers go.

Nationally in 2015, 42% of U.S. workers reported an increase in jobs where they worked and 12% reported a decrease, for a Job Creation Index score of +30.

Last year, Gallup interviewed at least 730 working adults in each of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, with more than 1,000 interviews conducted in 39 of the 50. Gallup weights each metro area sample so that it is representative of the population residing there on key demographic characteristics.

The metro areas with the five strongest job markets in 2015 ranked well above the national average, all with scores of at least +40. Those five metro areas also ranked highly on the 2014 list, with Austin and Salt Lake City edging out the others for the top spot.

Although most of the major U.S. metro areas have above-average job creation compared with the nation as a whole - highlighting the economic vitality of cities relative to suburbs and rural areas in this country - several are performing below the national average.

Most notably, Hartford, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island, rank last among the top metro areas. Both areas have seen well-paying manufacturing jobs leave their state and have struggled to regain them or replace them with similar types of employment.