Mid-Year 2018 State Employment Growth Rates — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Jobs are everything to an economy.  Period.   Job growth, however, is not systemic across the country by state.  Variability in state job growth is akin to the movie The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.   Some states are excelling, others just average, and a few ugly.  As usual, I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market or a National Economy.  The same is true regarding job growth.

The first table shows the percent change in jobs for each state and the District of Columbia for the 12-months ending June 2018.  The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Only two states continued to post a loss in jobs: North Dakota which had dropped by a miniscule 0.09 percent and Alaska, with the greatest loss of jobs at almost 1 percent (0.97 percent).

Among the top 10 states, all but two, Florida and North Carolina, were West of the Mississippi.   The story of the month for June was California dropping from 5th best in April 2018 (12-month job growth of 2.13 percent) to 14th best in May (1.82 percent) to 19th place in June, which at a 1.60 percent rate was less than the average in the U.S.   See a prior Jones on Real Estate Blog discussing the top-10 cities Americans are departing and why California may be slipping in job growth at http://blog.stewart.com/stewart/2018/07/06/another-top-10-list-cities-americans-are-departing-2010-2017/   Anything better than the U.S. 1.62 percent overall job growth rate I would classify as The Good component.

The next table looks at the top-10 state’s job growth rates over an extended time period.  In addition to the one-year job growth rate, it includes ranks of 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, Idaho ranked best in both the 12-month and 2-year time periods, 3rd best for the 5-year span and 7th best for the 10-year period.  That is strong job performance over a decade.  Utah is also an impressive performer in job creation in the past decade.


As always, where there are winners there are also losers – The Ugly Component.  The following table includes the data for the Job Growth Index for the 10 states having the lowest ranking 1-year growth rate.  Except for the 10-year job growth rates, Alaska ranked 51st out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia for the 1-year-, 2-year and 5-year intervals, and placed just 45th in the prior 10-year period.

Click here for a PDF including respective job performance for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It is sorted alphabetically by state and includes all of the data and ranks previously discussed.

Jobs are everything.  Period.



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