Latest Jobs Reports: When Will Your City Recover?

Last Updated Jul 8, 2011 2:15 PM EDT

The soft-patch for the economy is beginning to look like quick sand. Not only were the 18,000 jobs added in June absymal -- the private sector added 57,000 jobs, but government employment fell by 39,000 -- but we also got the news that May's estimate of 54,000 new jobs had been revised down to just 25,000. Add it up and we've only added a net 43,000 jobs over two months. At this pace, it would take about 25 years to halve the ranks of the 14.1 million unemployed.

And there's no sign of a quick fix. Washington to date has been resolutely focused on deficit reduction, not job growth. And business just isn't in a hiring groove. The Monster Employment Index, which tracks online job listings, reports a 4 percent uptick this past June compared to a year earlier. But that's really nothing to cheer about given that the index is still 23 percent below its May 2007 high. While we may be headed in the right direction, we're stuck in a Toyota Yaris when a Bugatti Veyron is what's needed.

For those wondering about the health of their local job market, the latest Monster report did break out which metropolitan areas had the strongest and weakest growth in online job postings for the 12 months through June:

Markets with strongest annual growth in online job listings:

Markets with weakest annual growth in online job listings:


The U.S. Conference of Mayors also recently released a sobering report detailing how long it might be until we see employment levels return to their pre-recession highs in cities across the country. Based on an analysis conducted by IHS Global Insights of nearly 400 metropolitan areas, it is going to be sometime in the second quarter of 2014 before employment at the national level returns to its pre-recession peak reached in the first quarter of 2008. That said, 48 of the metro areas are not expected to get back to their pre-recession employment levels for at least a decade.


Below are the 15 largest metro areas based on their economic output, and the IHS estimate for when employment levels in these key economic centers will return to their pre-recession high:

Estimated Time Frame for Returning to Pre-Recession Employment Levels:
New York City: 3rd quarter 2013
Los Angeles: 2nd quarter 2018
Chicago: 3rd quarter 2013
Washington D.C.: 3rd quarter 2011
Houston (pictured above): 4th quarter 2011
Dallas: 1st quarter 2012
San Francisco: 4th quarter 2015
Philadelphia: 4th quarter 2013
Boston: 3rd quarter 2013
Atlanta: 4th quarter 2014
Miami: 4th quarter 2015
Seattle: 1st quarter 2014
Minneapolis: 3rd quarter 2014
Detroit: Beyond 2021
Phoenix: 2nd quarter 2016
Only three of those 15 key metro areas (Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C.) are forecast to claw back to pre-recession employment levels before the 2012 elections. (And if federal job cuts are part of any deficit deal, watch out in Washington.) You'd think that might get the attention of lawmakers. But instead of focusing on job growth, deficit reduction is front and center in Washington. This is despite the fact that plenty of economists warn that deep deficit reduction moves that kick in sooner rather than later runs the serious risk of slowing the economy and mucking up an already weak jobs market. Maybe today's disastrous jobs report will shift the conversation a bit.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Biji Kurian
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