August jobs report shines a light on Upstate New York

The August jobs report for metropolitan areas is out, and the usual suspects–Austin, Phoenix, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, to name a few–are again among the fastest growing, large regional economies in the country. But two of the top-five markets ranked by job growth in August 2020-August 2021 are nowhere close to the Sun Belt, California, or in any of the rapidly recovering tourism-driven areas like Las Vegas (#1).

Upstate New York is not exactly a widely recognized economic development success story, but the August jobs report was a good one for the region. Job growth in Buffalo (#3) and Rochester (#4) topped 7% in August 2020-August 2021, exceeded only by Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Employment in Buffalo and Rochester is still about 30,000 jobs off pre-pandemic levels in August 2019, but take a bow here while you can, folks.

And speaking of full recovery, seven large metros had achieve that status as of the July report. We can add Dallas to that list as of August. Looking ahead to the September report, in the batter’s box is Indianapolis, Riverside, Memphis, Birmingham, and San Antonio.