Top Metros for Transportation (Passenger Movement)

July 5, 2012 by Emsi Burning Glass

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

There are currently about 1.13 million jobs in the US directly tied to the movement of passengers. Since 2001, the workforce in this cluster has declined 2.8%. The biggest hit came between 2001 and 2003 when the group lost 64,000 jobs. This cluster had an estimated 23,542 establishments in 2011 and a jobs multiplier of 6.17.

  • Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation is the largest industry with 36% of the cluster’s workforce and has the second highest average annual wage ($82,733) but has experienced a -28% decline in jobs.

  • Commuter Rail Systems is the smallest industry, but it is the fastest growing in terms of jobs (267%).

  • Deep Sea Passenger Transportation has the highest annual average wages ($84,438) and the second largest job growth (104%) but only makes up 0.8% of the cluster.

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 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (179,961), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (67,377), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (47,280), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (42,845).

  • Fort Wayne, IN (612%), Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA (249%), Asheville, NC (190%), and Vallejo-Fairfield, CA (178%) have seen the largest growth.

  • Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR (-65%), Pittsburgh, PA (-48%), Oklahoma City, OK (-48%), and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (-41%) have experienced the greatest overall decline.

  • The highest-paying MSA is Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA at $93,673 per year, 184% above the average annual wage ($51,029). Columbus, OH ($92,398), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX ($87,910), and Tulsa, OK ($83,967) are next.

  • The greatest sector concentration (measured by location quotient) is found in Juneau, AK (4.11 LQ), Las Vegas-Paradise (2.75), New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (2.59), and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (2.46).

MSA Name2001 Jobs2012 Jobs% Job Change2011 Avg. Annual Wage2012 LQMOST JOBS IN 2012New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA164,644179,9619%$45,2702.59Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI66,62567,3771%$60,1311.97Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA45,45047,2804%$80,6202.46Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX51,05342,845-16%$75,6701.66Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA51,23642,840-16%$54,2620.91Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX31,34031,3530%$87,9101.38San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA38,61327,490-29%$65,8521.59Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ19,00321,66414%$72,9911.50MOST CONCENTRATEDJuneau, AK47156520%$49,4414.11Las Vegas-Paradise, NV15,41518,83722%$48,0542.75Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA5301,848249%$93,6732.21Honolulu, HI12,8688,681-33%$56,7342.20Tulsa, OK9,7107,391-24%$83,9672.06FASTEST GROWINGFort Wayne, IN2501,780612%$47,5651.13Asheville, NC308892190%$43,4150.59Vallejo-Fairfield, CA5381,498178%$35,3841.41Torrington, CT4281,043144%$26,6851.70Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC1,0162,063103%$36,4280.82Columbus, OH4,3366,44749%$92,3980.88MOST PERCENTAGE DECLINELittle Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR1,881667-65%$28,5990.25Pittsburgh, PA20,57910,680-48%$34,2191.20Oklahoma City, OK1,9301,013-48%$35,0880.20Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL8,4454,979-41%$48,4900.52St. Louis, MO-IL15,3169,128-40%$43,7050.90Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI18,96816,251-14%$66,7311.16Source: 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 (