When it comes to jobs in transportation — think air, rail, water, trucks, etc. — no metro area in America has grown faster or offers higher wages than Williston, ND. The center of the North Dakota oil boom, Williston has four times the number of transportation jobs today than it did in 2001, jobs that pay on average just under $100,000 annually. Nearly three-quarters of Williston’s transportation jobs are in specialized freight trucking, a sub-sector that’s clearly benefited from the rise in oil production (and the resulting spike in local economic activity).
Williston is one of several metros in North Dakota, Louisiana, and Texas that have seen massive bumps in transportation employment, largely because of the oil and gas industry. In this post we’ll take a close look at the top metros in the US for transportation jobs — both passenger and freight movement. We gave an overview and definition of the transportation sector in our first post in this series.
Note: The above map is ranked by percentage job growth/decline in transportation. The group of darkest-green metros (corresponding to the greatest growth) is led by Williston, ND, which has grown 335% from 2001-2012.
The table below shows some highlights and lowlights of the sector’s regional breakdown by MSA since 2001. MSAs with fewer than 500 jobs in 2012 were excluded from this review.
- The MSAs with the highest number of transportation workers are New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (317,337), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (187,435), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (165,659), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (125,476).
- Williston, ND (335%), Plainview, TX (187%), Dickinson, ND (178%), and Elk City, OK (151%) have seen the largest growth.
- Muncie, IN (-79%), Enid, OK (-52%), Richmond, IN (-51%), and Goldsboro, NC (-51%) have experienced the greatest overall decline.
- The highest-paying MSA is Williston, ND at $99,323 per year, 191% above the average annual wage ($51,670). Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA ($85,752), Dickinson, ND ($80,561), and Morgan City, LA ($80,072) are next.
- The greatest sector concentration (measured by location quotient) is found in Laredo, TX (5.39 LQ), Morgan City, LA (5.24), North Platte, NE (5.00), and Eagle Pass, TX (3.54). An LQ of 1.00 is the national average, so the top MSA on our list, Laredo, is 5.39 times more concentrated than average. For more on concentration, click here.
|MSA Name||2001 Jobs||2012 Jobs||% Job Change||2011 Avg. Annual Wage||2012 LQ|
|Source: EMSI Complete Employment - 2012.1|
|MOST JOBS IN 2012|
|New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||297,127||317,337||7%||$52,712||1.22|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA||167,292||165,659||-1%||$52,499||0.96|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||121,996||125,476||3%||$61,837||1.48|
|Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX||96,498||116,746||21%||$66,041||1.41|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA||93,587||105,964||13%||$64,110||1.43|
|Morgan City, LA||4,130||2,366||-43%||$80,072||5.24|
|North Platte, NE||2,532||2,771||9%||$79,539||5.00|
|Eagle Pass, TX||1,295||1,309||1%||$30,234||3.54|
|Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA||7,257||12,646||74%||$85,752||2.93|
|Elk City, OK||205||515||151%||$60,192||0.77|
|MOST PERCENTAGE DECLINE|
The following sections take a more detailed look at air, rail, water, and road transportation in the US. For this review, industries are grouped into passenger movement (NAICS 481, 483, 485) and freight movement (NAICS 481, 482, 483, 484) clusters. Click on the links for the top metros in each group.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Flickr photo: Williston, ND by waterdaisy.