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Which States Have The Most Job Growth Since The Recession?

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Which States Have The Most Job Growth Since The Recession?

Maine has had less than 3 percent growth since 2010. LL Bean is the flagship retailer of the state. Photo: StormFall via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/vjDLK

By Jake Grovum, Stateline.org (TNS)

Although the nation’s unemployment rate has been around a seven-year low of about 5.4 percent, job growth among the states has been uneven, with several showing only meager gains more than five years removed from the depths of the Great Recession.

A Stateline analysis of states’ employment data shows that while all states have added jobs since their economies hit their nadir during the recession, some have added far fewer than others. Ten states (Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) have seen total employment grow 5 percent or less compared to their lowest points, according to the analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

On average, employment has increased 8 percent among all 50 states and the District of Columbia since each one’s individual nadir.

To calculate job growth, Stateline identified each state’s lowest level of employment since January 2008 (the recession officially began in December 2007), and compared that figure to the state’s March 2015 employment level, the most recent number available at the time of writing. The result is a state-by-state measurement of job growth since the recession.

Maine and West Virginia have seen the least growth, with employment increasing less than 3 percent in those states since they hit their lowest levels in 2010. Mississippi, Missouri and New Mexico have experienced less than 4 percent growth. In 21 states, employment has increased less than 7 percent.

But in other states, employment has bounced back strongly: In 14, employment has increased 10 percent or more since their low points.

North Dakota has led the way thanks to its oil boom. Employment there has jumped more than 28 percent since April 2009, the earliest low point of any state.

Other top performers are Texas and Utah, where employment has increased more than 15 percent since December 2009 and February 2010, respectively. Next are California and Colorado, where employment is up more than 13 percent since their lowest points in early 2010.

In raw numbers, the 50 states and the District have added nearly 12 million jobs since each one’s lowest employment level.

The most populous states — California, Florida, New York and Texas — dominate the growth in sheer numbers.

Michigan may be the biggest success story. By many economic measures, including employment rate and overall job loss, Michigan fell further than any other state during the recession. But Michigan has added 417,900 jobs since its low point in March 2010, placing it fifth in overall employment growth. Employment in the state is up nearly 11 percent, to 4,246,400 in March — about 10,000 more jobs than it had in January 2008.

Twenty-one states hit their Great Recession employment low in February 2010, according to Stateline’s analysis. The second most common low point was December 2009, which was the nadir for nine states. Seven states saw employment hit bottom in January 2010.

Every state plus the District experienced its lowest point in employment between April 2009 and September 2010. The District and North Dakota bottomed out first, while Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico were the last four to hit bottom in late 2010, nearly three years after the recession began.

Photo: Maine has had less than 3 percent growth since 2010. LL Bean is the flagship retailer of the state. StormFall via Flickr



  1. Fingerlakes54 May 27, 2015

    Things are improving ..—–Where we may it a stumbling block is when the dollar has to compete with the new currency.

    1. JPHALL May 27, 2015

      What new currency?

    2. Independent1 May 28, 2015

      Really?? As JPHALL asked, what new currency?

      Whatever you’re talking about, the Dollar is strong when compared to other currencies. See these excerpts from a Business Insider article:

      The U.S. dollar is strong for a number of reasons, all of them good things.

      Relatively strong U.S. economy. Our economy has been outperforming most international economies in recent years—especially the developed economies that are our biggest trading partners in Europe and Japan. A relatively good (even if not great) economy has helped boost U.S. financial markets and made the U.S. a more attractive destination for foreign capital.

      Improving trade balance. The U.S. trade balance has improved dramatically, thanks in large part to the boom in U.S. energy production and resulting drop in oil prices that has reduced U.S. imports and increased exports. By keeping more dollars here at home, a smaller trade gap is bullish for the dollar.

      Improving budget deficit. The measures that the United States has taken—in some cases painfully—to reduce the deficit by cutting spending (remember the sequester) and increasing taxes (remember the fiscal cliff) have reduced the U.S. federal deficit from as high as 11% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to about 3% as of the end of 2014. By strengthening the U.S. balance sheet, a shrinking budget deficit is bullish for the dollar.

      For more go here:

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-dollar-is-strong-2015-1#ixzz3bRMJImuR

  2. Eleanore Whitaker May 28, 2015

    This article has one flaw. It claims the states with the highest growth without stating that the growth is a direct result of a GOP House Majority flushing more tax dollars into their crony state industries that are eligible for federal tax subsidies in the tens of billions every year. It’s pretty damn easy for red states who get anywhere from $1.35 to $1.87 for the $1 they pay in federal taxes to be flush enough to create jobs. Try doing that when you stiff the blue states who ALL get an average 65 cents for the $1 they pay in federal taxes. Sorry, this article only bears out the truth that the GOP has a huge stake in taking over government: getting more than their fair share of federal tax funding and then screwing over the rest of the states who end up paying huge costs of pollution cleanup our states get from theirs.

    1. uniquename72 July 2, 2015

      “This article has one flaw.”

      Yes, it does. But not the one you cite. At all.

      Think about it: How much job growth a state has had since the recession is a meaningless statistic, because *not all states experienced the recession equally.*

      Those states hit the hardest by the recession will of course have seen a great recovery, while those states that took little hit will see little job growth.

      The whole article is pointless.

      It would be much better to look at where states were at their peak pre-2008 and compare that to where they are now. That would show which states *actually* had job growth, which are stagnant, and which are in the crapper.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker July 3, 2015

        I have to agree. There are always variables to research in any issue. I live in NJ. NJ under a Republican Governor has the worst job growth even with all of those huge tax cuts and tax subsidies Chris Christie handed to his GOP Big Business cronies supporting his run for the presidency. NY, on the other hand, is doing far better in terms of job growth in the 5 boroughs.

        If you want to know where states were at their peak in pre-2008, you need to go back further…The job growth ended with a bang in 2004 when Shearson Lehman laid off 10,000 workers in a single day. The ripple effect was like a game of dominoes. That is what happens when a shock wave hits a major Wall Street player.


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