Jobs are everything to an economy. Period.
Job growth, however, is not systemic across the country by state. Variability in job growth exists across all states at any point in time and also within the same state over a time period. 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 October 2018. The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only one state posted a loss in jobs in the prior 12-months with Vermont dipping 0.89 percent. Among the tops 10 states, all but two, Florida and North Carolina, were West of the Mississippi. In comparison, the U.S. posted a 1.71 percent gain.
Within the top-10 rankings, the story of the past two months has been the impressive job growth in New Mexico, now at 8th best in October 2018 (12-month job growth of 2.68 percent), having risen from 0.88 percent and 30th rank just a year ago for a gain of 22 ranks. Nebraska rose from 49th out of 50 to 25th for a gain of 24 ranks, while Ohio jumped from 37th to 15th. Biggest losers (all declining at least 20 ranks from October 2017 to 2018) included:
District of Columbia dropping from 25th to 49th
Arkansas declining from 24th to 47th
Minnesota going from 16th to 38th
Oklahoma slipping from 12th to 33rd
Rhode Island dropping from 17th to 37th
The following table shows the respective ranks as of October for 2017 and 2018 along with the change of ranks in the prior 12-months.
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, Nevada ranked best in 1-, 2- and 5-Year time periods and 11th best for the 10-year span. That is strong job performance over a decade. Utah is also an impressive consistently strong performer in job creation in the past decade.
As always, where there are winners there are also losers. The following table includes the data for the Job Growth Index for the 10 states having the lowest ranking 1-year growth rate. Vermont and Alaska have struggled consistently in the past 10-years, with neither posting better than a 46th rank across the four time spans.
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.
Some states are better than others, and others not so induced to produce new jobs.