While there are several definitions of a recession (a period of several months in which economic activity declines), I define a recession as an extended period when the country has job losses. Jobs are everything to the economy. Period. And when it comes to housing, other than retirees (which I call blue hairs, gray hairs and no hairs), very few people buy a home without a job. And I have gray hair, so my term is not derogatory. Retirement for me is hopefully a decade off.
The GREAT news is that, in the prior 12 months, from the end of January 2012 to the end of January 2013, not one state lost jobs. And I define losing jobs as more than 500 net job losses since I do not believe that the resolution of counting jobs is that precise. This now makes nine times in the past 17 months that no state lost jobs, assuming that 500 number. Hence a genuine trend.
Included in these analyses are all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The top 10 states in percentage growth are shown in the following table. While energy impacts some of these top performers, it is in no way a common thread in all.
Want to see job growth for all 50 states and DC based on percentage change ranking the top-performer first? Just take a look at the following table.
And the state with the greatest increase in total number of jobs? Texas. The Lone Star State added 332,400 net new jobs in the prior 12 months. That is more than the bottom 29 states COMBINED.
The bottom line is simple and exciting news. Job creation is now not limited to a few states, but is systemic nationwide.
Since jobs are everything, the future looks very promising from here.
Hence I declare the recession dead.