State Job Growth Rates and Metrics — February 2019

This continues the theme that Axioms are truths, and my primary Axiom is that Jobs Are everything to the economy.  Period.

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 February 2019.  The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.   The hottest state once again was Nevada posting an impressive 3.53 percent job growth rate – with not one other rising above the 3 percent range.   Just one state, Rhode Island, recorded a net job loss in the 12-months ending February, but was down a miniscule 0.32 percent.

The following table shows the respective ranks of job growth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of February 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 41st overall a year ago to 4th best), Wyoming (43rd to 13th), Mississippi (48th to 20th), and Kentucky (42nd to 18th).  Dropping the most in rankings were Minnesota and the District of Columbia ( each plunging 23 ranks), Massachusetts (down 22 positions), Wisconsin  (dipping 21 slots) and Oklahoma sliding 17.

The next table examines 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 first in the 10-year period and second in the 1-, 2- and 5-Year time periods.  That is strong job performance over a decade that continues today.  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 6th over the 10-year duration.   Worst performers based on the Growth Index Score included:  Connecticut 51st, Louisiana 50th, Alaska 49th, Rhode Island 48th and Iowa 47th.

The last table includes all of the growth rates for the four differing periods, sorted alphabetically by state.

Jobs are everything.  Period.  Some states are better than others, and others not so much.

Change, however, is the ongoing.



  1. Richard Daneau

    RI has been in democratic control for 80 years, and once again nearly last in yet another area. When will people smarten up?

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