Axioms are truths, and my primary Axiom is that 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 November 2018. The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only two states posted a loss in jobs in the prior 12-months with Vermont dipping 0.41 percent and Alaska a miniscule drop at -0.15 percent. Among the top 10 states, all but two, Florida and North Carolina, were West of the Mississippi. In comparison, the U.S. posted a 1.66 percent gain in the same period.
Within the top-10 rankings, the story of the past two months has been the impressive job growth in Wyoming, now 3rd best in November 2018 (12-month job growth of 3.19 percent), having risen from 0.50 percent and 40th rank just a year ago — a gain of 37 ranks. North Dakota rose from 50th out of 51 to 21st for a gain of 29 ranks, while Ohio jumped from 38th to 15th. Biggest losers (all declining at least 16 ranks from October 2017 to 2018) included:
Rhode Island dropping from 14th to 41st
District of Columbia dropping from 27th to 49th
New York declining from 17th to 37th
Idaho going from 1st to 19th
Missouri slipping from 24th to 40th
The following table shows the respective ranks as of November for 2017 and 2018 along with the change of ranks in the prior 12-months.
The next table looks at the top-10 states’ 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, Utah ranked best in the 10-year period, second best in 2- and 5-Year time periods and 6th best for the 1-year span. That is strong job performance over a decade. Nevada is also an impressive consistently strong performer in job creation in the past decade ranking 1st in the 1-, 2 and 5-year periods and 10th best over the 10-year duration.
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. West Virginia, Vermont and Alaska have struggled consistently in the past 10-years, having not posted better than a 45th 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 much.