NBA Finals: Labor Market Edition

Data on the NBA finals and the labor markets in Cleveland and Oakland.

In this year’s NBA finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing off against Oakland’s Golden State Warriors for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Last year, the Golden State Warriors won and the odds favor them again in 2016, although the Cleveland Cavaliers are intent on proving otherwise. But how do the city’s labor markets compare when it comes to the competition for talent?

In fact, the two cities are very different. Population-wise the Cleveland metro area is less than half that of Oakland’s, at 2 million versus 4.7 million. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s population shrank 0.2% between 2014 and 2015, while Oakland’s grew by 1.3%. There are differences when it comes to major industries too: In Cleveland education and health services are the biggest employers, while in Oakland trade, transportation and utilities come out top.

On the other hand, both cities share some important things in common. When it comes to the jobs most in demand, nurses and truck drivers rank first and second in Cleveland and Oakland. However, when it comes to how love of team is reflected in job search, the Golden State Warriors are the clear winners—their home stadium, the Oracle Arena, ranks third for most unique job searches in the city.

What else sets Cleveland and Oakland apart? Here’s the full breakdown:

Infographic: Cleveland and Oakland are facing off in the NBA finals, but which city is winning the competition for talent? Both have unemployment rates under the national average—4.8% and 4.2%, respectively. On the Gallup Wellbeing Indext, Oakland ranks far higher at 30 compared to Cleveland's rank at 170. Neither city is losing talent to one another, but they are hiring for many of the same occupations, including registered nurses and truck drivers.