Ravell Call, Deseret News
Downtown Provo with Utah Lake in the background, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

PROVO — The Provo-Orem area is the fourth-most competitive metro for jobs in the United States, according to a recent study by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.

This means that, since the recession, the Provo-Orem area is creating jobs at the fourth-fastest rate in the nation. Likewise, Salt Lake City is ranked sixth for competitive metros.

The most competitive metro is San Jose, Calif., with 3.5-percent due growth in 2012. The Utah urban metros were also beat by Austin, Texas, and Bakersfield, Calif. Salt Lake was ranked one spot lower than Houston, Texas.

EMSI used four considerations for the analysis: industrial mix effect, national growth effect, expected change and regional competitiveness effect.

In other words, they weighed how national forces and local competitive forces affected each other while looking for overall job change from the past two years.

Rankings came from 100 metro areas' jobs gains and losses. The percent was then calculated. Provo-Orem had 2.8 percent — the fourth-fewest total jobs of the 100 metros, which is estimated to be about 211,639. Salt Lake's was 2.6.

"This metro area just south of Salt Lake City has seen surprisingly large job gains in professional, scientific, and technical services," said the EMSI report about the Provo-Orem area.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com