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The 10 highest & lowest U.S. metro areas for job creation

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According to a Gallup report released this month, Austin, Tex. and Salt Lake City, Utah have the highest Job Creation Index scores. The metro areas each garnered 37 index points to tie for first place among the 50 largest U.S. metro areas.

The poll is based on a survey conducted via telephone interviews in 2014 that included a random sample of 201,254 employed adults, 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  

Gallup’s Job Creation Index scores are based on the percentage of workers in each metro area who say their employer is hiring and expanding minus the percentage who say that they are laying off workers or reducing the workforce. The report also says that hiring activity appears to be a bit stronger in the larger U.S. metro areas than in the U.S. as a whole, since all but 15 of the 50 most populous metro areas have Job Creation Index scores higher than the +26 national average.

Why are Austin and Salt Lake City experiencing more growth than other metro areas? Gallup posits that these cities are offering competitive salaries to tech workers and the cost of living is cheaper than living in California. Also, Salt Lake City is benefiting through growth in tourism and the energy sector. In turn, the growth in these sectors affects how other industries, including housing and construction, grow.

Meanwhile, San Diego and Virginia Beach-Norfolk have seen a decrease in job creation because they have large military presences and reductions in defense spending could be limiting job, the report says.