Cities & Industries with the Largest Business Growth Over Time

by Deputy Team, 3 minutes read
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Every U.S. city paints a unique picture of economic growth shaped by its industries, opportunities, and challenges. These variations in progress, while fascinating, can sometimes be overwhelming to decipher. At Deputy, we've sifted through Census data to offer a clear, comprehensive snapshot of business growth trends nationwide.

It's not just about which cities are rising or facing a slump. The industries powering this growth, from retail and healthcare to construction, are where the real stories unfold. Join us as we explore the intricate landscape of business growth in America.

The U.S. Cities with the Most Business Growth Over Time

U.S. map highlighting the top cities for business growth

Certain cities stand out in an ever-evolving economic landscape for their remarkable growth stories. 

Starting in 2011, Wilmington, NC had a little over half of its population (50.8%) aged 16 and over employed. Fast forward a decade, and this number saw an uptick of 8.8%. 

A significant factor here is likely the shifting population demographics. The 16+ population of Wilmington decreased by about 60,000 during this period, and the number of employed residents only fell by 9,351 by the end of 2021. 

Provo, UT, on the other hand, began 2011 with 61.7% of its population aged 16 and over in the workforce. By the end of the decade, this number climbed by 7.2%, translating to over 114,000 additional residents gaining employment.

Several Florida cities also make the list as cities to watch. Lakeland, FL ranks #3 overall, registering a 5.7% increase in business growth over the decade. A stone's throw away, Tampa, FL, has also made its mark with a 5.2% rise in business growth. Other Floridian cities to chart on the top 10 include Fort Myers, Daytona Beach, Palm Bay, and Miami. 

The Industries with the Most Business Growth by City Over Time

U.S. map showing the cities with the most business growth by industry

Diving deeper into the data, while cities showcase overarching growth, the industries within them offer the most revealing insights into economic progression.

Augusta, known worldwide for its iconic Masters Golf Tournament, has experienced the largest surge in the entertainment and accommodation sector (1%). This growth is hardly surprising given the global attention and influx of visitors the tournament garners annually. 

The city's spotlight on the international stage has cemented its role as a hub for hospitality and entertainment, which, ultimately, has garnered a significant employment increase in this field.

San Jose, situated in the tech-rich region of Silicon Valley, is home to pronounced growth in the information industry. Its close proximity to Palo Alto, a nexus of tech innovation and corporate giants, has fueled this ascent. As the tech wave swells, San Jose rides its crest, benefiting from the industry's overarching expansion.

Boise stands out with its booming construction industry. The city's noticeable population growth over the years has led to a rising demand for infrastructure and housing. This demographic influx translates to cranes dotting the skyline and a construction sector in full swing.

Beyond these cities, there are others like Spokane, WA, and Albany, NY, which have marked their presence in the agriculture and forestry sectors. Similarly, the education and healthcare sectors are led by the likes of New Orleans, LA, and Bakersfield, CA. 

Closing Thoughts

Analyzing the growth of cities and industries reveals the ever-changing dynamics of the U.S. economy. Staying ahead in this environment requires tools and strategies that streamline operations and boost efficiency.

At Deputy, we understand the importance of effective business management. Our solutions are designed to simplify tasks like scheduling, time tracking, and compliance– allowing businesses to focus on growth and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Want to optimize your business operations? Explore what Deputy can offer.


To determine which cities and industries saw the most and least business growth over time, we referred to U.S. Census employment data spanning a decade (2011 through 2021). We analyzed the percent change in the population of employed civilians (16 years and older) of the 100 most populous cities nationwide. From there, we mapped out which cities saw the highest increase and largest decline in employment (i.e. "business growth"). 

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