Almost the Mid-Year State Jobs Update — May 2014

Everyone who knows me is aware that my moniker as economist is that Jobs are Everything. Period. That’s why I do not even discuss unemployment rates in my presentations since demand for residential and commercial real estate is more a function of people with jobs rather than the demographics of simply the population.

While the U.S. is indeed experiencing a recovery in jobs (1.74 percent job growth rate in the prior 12-months), in no way is that universal across the geographic landscape.

So which state has job growth been the best in the past 12 months? The top (and bottom) states in percentage job growth in the 12-months ending May 2014 are shown in the following table.

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The story in jobs is more likely the antigram of strong growth, with only two states posting year-over-year job loss rates. Once again New Mexico tops the list with the greatest job decline, having lost 1,000 net jobs in the past months (down 0.12 percent). Want to know why? Too many government jobs in New Mexico – see my blog at http://blog.stewart.com/stewart/2013/10/18/new-mexico-employment-there-is-no-normal-and-new-mexico-lags/

The big winners were North Dakota (up 4.57 percent), Nevada (up 3.92 percent), and Texas (up 3.44 percent).

Which states produced the most number of new jobs? The top-10 are shown in the following table. Even though Texas has the second most total number of jobs, it topped the U.S. in total new jobs at 383,100 in the 12-months ending May 2014 compared to California at 340,200.

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Where are most of the jobs in the U.S.? California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois (the top five) make up more than one-third. The top-10 states account for more than one-half of the total jobs in the country. The top 20 make up three-fourths. The bottom 20 states make up just 10 percent.

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Jobs are everything. Pity that growth is not universal across the states. Resources and business friendliness indeed are coming into play.

See the former blog on the most business friendly states at http://blog.stewart.com/stewart/2013/11/27/best-state-business-tax-climates-in-2014/

It’s all about jobs.

Ted

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