State Job Growth — January 2019

Axioms are truths, and my primary Axiom is that Jobs Are everything to the economy.  Period.   That is also my speech topic for 2019.

Dramatic swings in employment data are not uncommon – just look at the comparison of 304,000 net new jobs created nationwide in January 2019 compared to  the miniscule 20,000 net new jobs in February 2019 (both are the original preliminary estimates).  Many states fared the same changes in job growth.    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 January 2019.  The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Not even one state recorded a net job loss on the 12-months ending January 2019.

The following table shows the respective ranks of job growth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of January 2018 and 2019 along with the change of ranks in the prior 12-months.   The Ranks Gain column shows the total improvement (or loss) in ranking of 12-month job growth rates in the past 12-months.  Most improved states included West Virginia (rising from 38th overall a year ago to 4th best), South Dakota (33rd to 5th), Kentucky (45th to 23rd), and North Dakota (46th to 32nd).  Declining the most in rankings were the District of Columbia (plunging 28 ranks), Oklahoma (down 26 positions), Minnesota (dipping 23 slots) and Massachusetts sliding 19.

The next table looks at state 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 once again ranked best overall, scoring best in the 10-year period, second best in 1-, 2- and 5-Year time periods.  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 7th best over the 10-year duration.

.Jobs are everything.  Period.

Some states are better than others, and others not so much.   Change, however, is the ongoing.


Leave a Reply