DFW topped nation’s metro areas for job growth in 2014

More than 500 jobs were added at Amazon's fulfillment center in Haslet last year.
More than 500 jobs were added at Amazon's fulfillment center in Haslet last year. Star-Telegram

Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation’s metropolitan areas in job growth in 2014, adding 136,900 jobs and cementing its position as one of the nation’s top-growing economies, according to the federa; Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is the first time DFW has added the most jobs among metro areas during a calendar year since at least 1990, the earliest year for comparable data, said Cheryl Abbot, a regional economist with the bureau in Dallas. She said the region has ranked No. 1 for other 12-month periods, but not for a full calendar year.

The New York metro area, encompassing parts of New Jersey and Long Island, ranked No. 2, adding 129,000 jobs, and the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown region ranked third, with 120,600.

Job growth was markedly stronger on the Dallas side of the Metroplex than Fort Worth. According to the data, which were released last week, the Dallas-Plano-Irving region added more than three-quarters of the jobs, 108,100, representing 4.9 percent growth from the previous year. Fort Worth-Arlington added 28,800 jobs, for 3.1 percent growth.

Abbot said the Dallas side had the stronger growth in a number of sectors including construction.

DFW has consistently been one of the top areas for job growth since the recession, ranking near the top in many listings of best cities for jobs.

David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, said more than a dozen big projects were announced or opened in Fort Worth in 2013 and resulted in hundreds of jobs added in 2014.

Among the projects: the Amazon fulfillment center in Haslet, with up to 1,000 jobs; GE Locomotive, which now has two plants west of Texas Motor Speedway with more than 1,000 jobs; growth at American Airlines after its merger with US Airways, including a new operations center; and a Wal-Mart distribution center at Alliance.

“It’s been several years in the making,” Berzina said. “It’s a very diverse labor market in Dallas and Fort Worth, more than it used to be.”

Berzina said it’s too early to tell how much the decline in oil prices will affect the local economy this year. He estimated that about 25 percent of jobs in downtown Fort Worth are tied to the oil and gas industry.

Steve Kaskovich, 817-390-7773

Twitter: @stevekasko