You've most likely heard of the term "Big Data," but what does it mean? And why, as a job seeker, is it important to you? Big Data is the phenomenon of large amounts of consumer information, used in a practical application. For example, many grocery stores use loyalty cards, which capture your purchasing habits and allow the company to give you coupons or other rewards that are relevant to you, all while learning about you as a consumer.
Similarly, CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International have culled our labor market database of over 90 national and state employment resources to identify key industries that are driving job growth for the 100 most populous U.S. metros.* These findings were put into an interactive map (click here to start exploring), which reveals 10 of the most important detailed industries for each clickable location.
STEM Jobs Driving Growth
The map was created to gain insight about the driving industries in economies across the country, and revealed some important information: First, science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs are a major factor in driving growth. After all, while the professional, scientific and technical industry sector makes up only 6 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to EMSI, it was responsible for 10 percent of job growth from 2010 to 2012. Second, while the larger metros are creating jobs, it's the smaller metros that have very diverse economies and which are creating the most significant job growth.
"Since 2010, the national workforce has grown four percent, but more than 40 large metros have eclipsed the national growth rate," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "These are metros with a strong concentration of computer systems design, software publishing and data processing and hosting firms. These are metros benefitting from the resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, and the nation's need to find new energy sources and expand healthcare services."
Where Industries Cluster
The map also reveals pockets of the U.S. where key industries are clustered among the largest cities:
• Motor vehicles parts manufacturing has traditionally been focused in Rust Belt cities, but Southern metros such as Birmingham, Louisville and Nashville are emerging in this sector.
• Oil and gas extraction is a major driver of high-wage job growth in Texas, Oklahoma and the surrounding region. It's also becoming a driver of job growth in Denver.
• General freight trucking is concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast (Nashville, Memphis, Jacksonville, etc.), where transportation routes are plentiful and huge population centers are in close range.
• Software publishing has a big presence in Silicon Valley, but is also growing in major markets such as Seattle, Boston, Atlanta and Denver.
• General medical and surgical hospitals are driving jobs in Columbus, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Rochester and St. Louis, among others.
• Highway, street and bridge construction has seen an uptick in jobs in Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City and San Antonio as cities rebuild after natural disasters and address other public concerns.
In a separate study of the same 100 metros, CareerBuilder and EMSI discovered which metros have added the most jobs per capita post-recession:
1. Salt Lake City, UT – added over 62,000 jobs since 2010, up 9 percent (534 new jobs per 10,000 people)
Originally a farming community, Salt Lake City has grown into an industrial center for the state. Industries that have experienced strong job growth in this metro include electronic shopping and mail order houses (up 43 percent), software publishing (up 28 percent), specialized freight trucking (up 23 percent) and credit intermediation (up 22 percent).
2. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI – added over 39,000 jobs since 2010, up 10 percent (513 new jobs per 10,000 people)
This manufacturing heavyweight has benefitted from the rebound of production jobs after the recession. The metro saw job increases in various manufacturing segments such as plastics product (up 35 percent), motor vehicle parts (up 33 percent), metalworking machinery (up 30 percent) and office furniture (up 12 percent). Hospitals also accounted for an upswing in jobs (up 16 percent).
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA – added over 91,000 jobs since 2010, up 10 percent (498 new jobs per 10,000 people)
It's no surprise that software publishing (up 30 percent), computer systems design (up 19 percent), data processing and hosting (up 16 percent), computer manufacturing (up 12 percent) and scientific research (up 9 percent) are big contributors to employment for this Silicon Valley metro.
4. Austin-Round Rock- San Marcos, TX – added over 90,000 jobs since 2010, up 11 percent (488 new jobs per 10,000 people)
Austin has made a name for itself as a technology and business hub, fueling job growth in management, scientific and consulting services (up 35 percent), computer systems design (up 35 percent), data processing and hosting (up 35 percent) and semiconductor manufacturing (up 17 percent).
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX – added over 281,000 jobs since 2010, up 10 percent (451 new jobs per 10,000 people)
Energy-rich Houston continues to see job growth in utility system construction (specifically, oil and gas pipeline, up 45 percent), mining support (up 38 percent), metal and mineral (except petroleum) wholesalers (up 31 percent), oil and gas extraction (up 25 percent), and architectural and engineering services (up 21 percent).
*EMSI data is collected from more than 90 federal and state sources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and state labor departments. EMSI removes suppressions often found in publically available data and includes proprietors, creating a complete picture of the workforce.
Susan Ricker is a CareerBuilder writer.