State Employment Data February 2018– Updated Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Series

The state employment data reported commencing January 2018 are based on an updated and revised data series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  To give an idea of the extent of the change, in Texas, for example, the older data series through December 2017 indicated that Texas grew jobs that year at a 2.53 percent annualized rate.   The revised series estimates a growth rate of 2.06 percent for the same period.  Florida changed from 2.51 percent to a revised 1.93 percent.  California went from 2.06 percent to 2.20 percent.

The following graphs show the monthly employment estimates for these three states for 2017 pre- and post-revision.  Note the major impact in Florida from Hurricane Irma in September.   While parts of Texas were impacted in August and September by Hurricane Harvey, it not cover the entire the state as did Hurricane Irma.

The following table shows the top-11 states’ job growth rates for the 12-months ending February 2018 using the recently revised data from the BLS.  In addition to the one-year job growth rate, also included are the overall rankings for job growth over two-, five-  and 10-years.   These ranks (for the intervals of 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-years) were then summed (the Growth Index Score), with the lowest sum ranked the best overall indicating the top-job performance (the Job Growth Index).  When using the Job Growth Index Rank for the four time periods, Nevada ranked the best even though they placed second overall in the latest 12-months of job growth.

The logic for including the top 11 ranks was to add Florida, though having faltered in the latest 12 months to 11th best job growth performance, ranked 5th, 3rd and 9th best for job growth over two-years, five years and 10—years, respectively.

The next table shows the 10 worst job growth states.  In all but three occurrences, these states consistently performed in the bottom half of all states for job growth rates over the one-year, two-year, five-year and 10-year periods.  The exceptions were Nebraska (ranked 23rd overall in 10-year job growth), Delaware (at 18th best in the five-year period) and North Dakota (third best in 10 year job growth), driven by higher oil prices and development of the Bakken Shale prior to 2015.

Attached is a PDF including respective job performance for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In my view of economics, jobs are everything.  Period.


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