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Top Metros for Transportation (Freight Movement)

July 5, 2012 by Luke Mason

For our main post on the top transportation metros, see here. We’ve also written a transportation sector overview

There are currently about 2.27 million jobs directly tied to the movement of freight. Since 2001, the workforce in this cluster has grown by 2.2%. The biggest increase (13.9%) came between 2003 and 2007 when the group gained 298,000 jobs (but most of the jobs were lost the next few years). This cluster had an estimated 113,532 establishments in 2011 and has a jobs multiplier of 7.08.

  • General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload is the largest industry with 35.6% of the cluster’s workforce and has grown 3%. However, it has the third lowest average annual wage ($45,223).
  • Coastal and Great Lakes Freight Transportation is the fastest growing in terms of jobs (34%) but only accounts for 0.5% of the cluster’s workforce.
  • Deep Sea Freight Transportation has the highest annual average wages ($123,545) but only makes up 0.6% of the cluster and has declined by 11%.

Regional Breakdown

The table below shows some highlights and lowlights of the cluster’s regional breakdown by MSA since 2001. Please note that MSAs with fewer than 500 jobs in 2012 were excluded from this review.

  • The MSAs with the highest number of transportation workers are Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (90,831), New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (89,049), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (71,831), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (60,711).
  • Williston, ND (377%), Plainview, TX (253%), Dickinson, ND (210%), and Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA (188%) have seen the largest growth.
  • Jefferson City, MO (-58%), Auburn, NY (-53%), Albany, GA (-50%), and Lewiston, ID-WA (-48%) have experienced the greatest overall decline.
  • The highest-paying MSA is Williston, ND at $102,666 per year, 199% above the average annual wage ($51,602). Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($91,427), Dickinson, ND ($85,816), and North Platte, NE ($81,358) are next.
  • The greatest sector concentration (measured by location quotient) is found in North Platte, NE (8.77 LQ), Wilmington, OH (6.64), Murray, KY (5.76), and Norwalk, OH (5.44).
MSA Name2001 Jobs2012 Jobs% Job Change2011 Avg. Annual Wage2012 LQ
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI81,70890,83111%$54,478 1.32
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA87,17089,0492%$61,117 0.64
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA68,27871,8315%$42,073 0.76
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX53,98860,71112%$53,257 1.17
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX43,65255,04326%$56,175 1.20
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA37,92643,94216%$49,737 1.14
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA30,32540,08532%$49,072 1.90
North Platte, NE2,4492,6107%$81,358 8.77
Wilmington, OH1,2411,83848%$61,322 6.64
Murray, KY1,0481,60653%$34,323 5.76
Norwalk, OH1,8061,9035%$52,721 5.44
Marshfield-Wisconsin Rapids, WI2,7753,27618%$47,099 5.27
Harrison, AR1,3791,5109%$64,124 5.07
Joplin, MO6,8106,316-7%$55,213 5.04
Scottsbluff, NE9681,24028%$62,701 4.10
Williston, ND2441,163377%$102,666 3.64
Plainview, TX210742253%$60,179 2.93
Dickinson, ND3341,036210%$85,816 3.60
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA2,0645,946188%$78,711 3.54
Levelland, TX209595185%$76,325 3.30
Jefferson City, MO1,337561-58%$43,517 0.45
Auburn, NY1,132531-53%$52,144 1.14
Albany, GA2,0111,006-50%$46,180 1.00
Lewiston, ID-WA1,050546-48%$45,832 1.26
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT2,5932,090-19%$91,427 0.28
Source: EMSI Complete Employment - 2012.1

Data and analysis come from Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market tool. If you would like to learn more, please contact us. Find out more about EMSI and our data here. You can reach us via Twitter @DesktopEcon or by emailing Rob Sentz ([email protected]).

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