ST. LOUIS — As the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated in 2021, the nation's largest metro areas led the way.
The nation’s 100 largest metro areas accounted for 83.5% of the total metro-area job growth in the nation in 2021.
St. Louis, though, lagged many of its peers.
Though it's the 21st largest U.S. metro, St. Louis ranked 34th for the number of jobs added last year, 32,300. And it ranked 86th for the percentage of jobs grown, 2.42%. St. Louis had 1.36 million jobs as of December 2021, up from 1.33 million in December 2020.
And St. Louis employment remains below pre-pandemic figures, the region's planning organization, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, said this month. As of December 2021, it said employment for the St. Louis metro was 4.2% less than it was in December 2019, ranking it 32nd among peer regions. Losses were heaviest in leisure and hospitality, while the transportation, warehouse and utilities industry, and the mining, logging and construction industry had more workers in December 2021 than the same month in 2019.
Detroit (-4.3%), Chicago (-4.8%), Cleveland (-4.9%) and Pittsburgh (-5.2%) performed worse than St. Louis. Doing better were Baltimore (-3.6%), Cincinnati (-2.5%), Indianapolis (-1%), Kansas City (-0.7%), Nashville (+0.3%) and Austin (+4.1%).
The national picture
The nation’s 100 largest metro areas averaged 4% job growth between December 2020 and December 2021, according to an analysis of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data by The Business Journals. All 100 of those metros grew employment during the year.
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