Fastest Growing Small Metro Economies of 2018 are Midland, Odessa, and St. George; Slowest are Battle Creek, Kokomo, and Danville

16 Oct 2019 Fastest Growing Small Metro Economies of 2018 are Midland, Odessa, and St. George; Slowest are Battle Creek, Kokomo, and Danville

Recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics illuminates which small metros have the fastest growing economies. Growth is measured by the percentage change in employment between the annual average of 2017 and 2018. Headlight Data ranks employment growth for the 274 small metros (<500,000 people) in the U.S.

In 2018, U.S. employment grew 1.6%. Among small metros, the highest growth is found in Midland (15.7%), Odessa (10.7%), and St. George (7.3%). The Villages, Reno, and Greeley follow.

The lowest employment growth is found in Battle Creek (-2.2%), Kokomo (-1.6%), and Danville (-1.6%). Bismarck, Johnstown, and Farmington follow.

The U.S. growth rate increased 0.2 percentage points in 2018 versus 2017. 160 out of 274 small metros experienced an improvement. The small metros showing the most improvement (with the greatest increase in the annual growth rate) are Midland (+8.4 pts.), Odessa (+5.1 pts.) and Dalton (+4.8 pts.). Houma, Atlantic City, and Las Cruces also experienced an improvement.

About 2 out of 5 metros have slowed since 2017. The small metros with the largest declines in growth rate are Kankakee (4.5 pts. decrease), Carson City (-4.4 pts.) and Lake Charles (-4.3 pts.). Other metros with a large declining growth rate include Hammond, Lewiston, and Killeen.

Research, analysis and content developed by Headlight Data. Original data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Headlight Data is an award-winning online data aggregator, designed for economic and workforce development organizations, that provides online, decision-support tools on the economy, demographics, education, workforce and public policy.

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