Hottest U.S. job market? Inland Empire, by this math. L.A.-Orange County 12th

The Inland Empire has the nation’s hottest job market, by one tally of open positions, while Los Angeles and Orange counties have the 12th worst.

Job posting data can be an early indicator of employment trends because, thanks to the Indeed online employment service, relatively real-time weekly data is available. The site tracks the ups and downs of job openings on a regional basis by looking at the year-over-year change in the number of open positions posted to its site. The St. Louis Fed put the latest data — the seven-day average for the week ending October 23 — into perspective by comparing it with Feb. 6 as a pre-pandemic benchmark.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, job postings were up 8.3% from a year ago. In a year where a virus decimated the economy, the Inland Empire is the only region with increased employment opportunities among the 52 big U.S. metropolitan areas tracked. Compare that with Feb. 6 when Inland empire postings were up only 0.1% year-over-year — ranking No. 31 nationally. The 8.2 percentage-point improvement was also tops among the metros.

The region’s giant logistics industry has seen heavy demand for workers to handle warehousing and deliveries for fast-growing online shopping businesses. By the way, the nation’s second-best performer last month for job postings was Grand Rapids, Mich. And in a bad year for jobs, that town was No. 2 with 3% fewer openings than a year ago. 

In the Los Angeles-Orange County metro region, postings are down 20% from a year ago — 12th worst among the 52. On Feb. 6, postings were down just 0.2% — 13th worst nationally. The 19.8 percentage-point drop ranked 13-worst among the metros.

Elsewhere in California, here’s how job postings fared …

Sacramento: Down 8.1% from a year ago, 10th best performance of the 52 metros. On February 6, postings were up 0.9% — No. 10 nationally. The 9.2 percentage-point drop again ranked 10th among the metros.

San Diego: Down 13.6% from a year ago, ranking No. 21 of 52 metros. On February 6, postings were up 0.3% — No. 27 nationally. The 13.9 percentage-point drop ranked 21st among the metros.

San Jose: Down 30.9% from a year ago, third-worst of 52 metros. On February 6, postings were down 0.1% — No. 35 nationally. The 30.8 percentage-point drop was the second-worst among the metros.

San Francisco: Down 31.7% from a year ago, the biggest drop of 52 metros. On February 6, postings were down 0.5% — No. 45 nationally. The 31.2 percentage-point drop was the largest fall among the metros.

Statewide, postings were down 18% from a year ago, ranking No. 38 among the states. On February 6 postings were flat — No. 30 nationally. That 18 percentage point decline ranked 38th among the states.

Worst in October? Hawaii, down 43% from a year ago. Best? Rhode Island, up 1% from a year ago.

Read More: Hottest U.S. job market? Inland Empire, by this math. L.A.-Orange County 12th

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