Charlotte had fourth-fastest job growth in U.S. last year, study says

Charlotte just missed out on the top three spots for fastest job growth among large metropolitan areas last year, according to a new study from Headlight Data, but it tied with Salt Lake City for No. 4.

The rapid growth in jobs offers some explanation for why so many apartments, office buildings and other developments are under construction around the city. Charlotte’s job growth rate was more than double the U.S. average in 2016, with the number of jobs going up 3.7 percent vs. 1.7 percent nationally.

Raleigh came in just under Charlotte, with 3.5 percent employment growth in 2016.

Grand Rapids, Mich. took the top spot (4.4 percent growth), followed by Orlando (4.2 percent) and Nashville (4 percent).

In Charlotte, several industries stood out for their growth. Construction employment grew 9.2 percent in 2016, a result of the building boom. Hospitality jobs increased 1 percent in Charlotte despite a slight decline nationally, while transportation and utilities jobs increased 0.5 percent, in spite of a nearly 1 percent dip nationwide.

Here are the top 10 metropolitan areas, ranked by 2016 job growth, using U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data. Headlight Data produces job and employment studies and data aggregation for workforce development groups.

1. Grand Rapids, Mich.: 4.4 percent

2. Orlando: 4.2 percent

3. Nashville: 4 percent

4. Charlotte: 3.7 percent

4. (tie) Salt Lake City: 3.7 percent

6. Riverside, Calif.: 3.5 percent

6. (tie) Raleigh: 3.5 percent

8. Jacksonville: 3.4 percent

9. San Francisco: 3.3 percent

9. (tie) Austin: 3.3 percent

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo