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13 cities where hiring is growing — Florida and Texas lead, while the coasts are declining

Noah Sheidlower,Juliana Kaplan   

13 cities where hiring is growing — Florida and Texas lead, while the coasts are declining
  • Hiring is increasing in smaller cities and large hubs in Florida and Texas, according to a Gusto analysis.
  • The pandemic-led remote work trend shifted jobs away from the Northeast and California coasts.

The economy is heading South in the best possible way.

The Rockies and coastal Southeast are seeing a major boon in economic prosperity, with affordable housing and well-paying jobs becoming more abundant. And the South has emerged as a major hub of the American economy, with population growth booming.

Now, new data shows that hiring is picking up in those new US hubs — and leaving behind traditional job-driving stalwarts on the coasts.

Jobs are shifting from the Northeast and California coasts to small- and medium-sized cities nationwide, as well as large cities in Florida and Texas, according to a Gusto analysis of over 30,000 companies on its platform. Data analyzed the share of hiring between January 2018 and December 2023 at small- and medium-sized businesses.

In major coastal cities, which have historically had high hiring shares, particularly for white-collar workers, the pandemic led thousands to move away to areas with lower living costs while working remotely. Whereas major coastal cities accounted for 35% of hiring before March 2020, this percentage is now about 29%. This was driven by declines in hiring in New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

For instance, San Francisco lost 2.7 percentage points of its hiring share when comparing pre-Covid to mid-2022 and 2023. A 2023 Economic Innovation Group analysis of Census population estimates reveals San Francisco had a population decline of nearly 8% between 2020 and 2022, while San Jose had above 4% losses.

Washington, DC, was the only traditional coastal economic hub Gusto analyzed that saw a gain in hiring share between 2018 and 2023, perhaps driven by hiring growth for in-person government workers. Recent job reports show the government is one of the fastest-growing sectors for hiring.

Meanwhile, Florida and Texas cities are on somewhat of a hiring spree. Orlando saw a 30.6% change in hiring share, while San Antonio was 23.1%.

Miami and Austin, which both attracted thousands of remote workers in sectors such as tech, had modest hiring gains in the first two years of the pandemic, though hiring shares flattened from mid-2022 to 2023.

The hiring patterns are yet another data point showing just how much the pandemic reshaped America's economic geography. The unique financial circumstances of 2020, where mortgage interest rates tumbled and Americans could work from anywhere, created its own pandemic boomtowns and homebuying frenzy. Workers flocked to places like Florida and Texas, where housing was cheaper and the weather was more tolerable than the coastal cities they'd previously been constrained to. Now, that's led to its own shift in which areas are hiring.

Similarly, the smaller cities living in the shadows of more major urban centers have entered the limelight in the post-pandemic reconfiguration. Areas like St. Louis and Boise saw their own hiring booms, and both have dealt with an influx of newcomers. And those movers are potentially looking to settle down: A surge in pandemic movers has reshaped the dating scene in the Midwest with a new pool of singles — and a new emphasis on finding the one.

"We're super busy and are signing up people. I work seven days a week," Courtney Quinlan, the CEO and matchmaker at Midwest Matchmaking, previously told Business Insider. She added: "I never get a day off. And I love it."

Did you move away from the coasts to Florida, Texas, or a smaller city? Contact these reporters at and

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