[Vision2020] States Adding the Most Jobs Since the Great Recession

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Tue Jan 31 23:28:22 PST 2017


States Adding the Most Jobs Since the Great Recession

By Samuel Stebbins <http://247wallst.com/author/samuel-stebbins/>, 
Michael B. Sauter <http://247wallst.com/author/michael-sauter/> and 
Thomas C. Frohlich <http://247wallst.com/author/thomas-c-frohlich/> 
January 30, 2017 12:09 pm EST

The U.S. economy has changed drastically in the past decade. As the 
housing bubble burst and the economy spiraled into the worst recession 
the country has faced since the Great Depression, unemployment hit a 
multi-decade high of 10% in 2009. Despite major setbacks, the U.S. 
economy began improving in June 2009, and many parts of the country are 
now thriving.

There are nearly 5.9 million more jobs in the United States today than 
there were at the end of 2007. Employment growth, however, has not been 
even across all states. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 10-year job growth in all 
50 states to identify the states where employment increased the most.

Most states recorded some employment growth. Only in seven states, there 
are fewer jobs today than there were in December 2007. In an interview 
with 24/7 Wall St., Martin Kohli, chief regional economist with the 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained that the construction and 
manufacturing sectors have been the biggest drags on employment growth. 
Indeed, of the states that lost jobs in the last 10 years, manufacturing 
was the biggest drag in three — Connecticut, Maine, and West Virginia — 
while construction shed the most jobs in the remaining four: Alabama, 
Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

*Click here to see the states adding the most jobs since the Great 

Today, there are 1.4 million fewer construction jobs in the United 
States than there were a decade ago, the largest employment decline of 
any industry. “We really have not had a solid recovery in the 
construction industry from the burst in the housing bubble,” Kohli said. 
New home construction bottomed out in 2009 at 553,900 new projects and 
has yet to return to the decade-long peak of 1.4 million housing units 
started in 2007. Construction was the biggest drag on employment growth 
in 28 states, hitting Arizona, California, Nevada, and Florida 
especially hard.

On the other hand, total employment has increased in the vast majority 
of states over the last 10 years. Employment growth ranged from 0.1% in 
New Jersey to 20.7% in North Dakota. Texas, the state with the second 
highest proportional employment growth, at 15.3%, had the largest 
increase in total employment, at more than 1.6 million workers.

Employment growth in the U.S. was driven primarily by the education, 
health care and social services sector. Nationwide, the sector netted an 
addition of some 4.4 million new workers. “The aging of the population 
is one of the things that’s been driving job growth in health care,” 
Kohli explained. Driven primarily by the health care industry, the 
sector was the biggest contributor to employment growth in all but three 
states, often accounting for over 100,000 new jobs.

In some states, such as North Dakota and Texas, employment growth was 
also largely attributable to gas fracking and oil exploration.

The degree to which the number of jobs increased by state depended 
largely on the skill level of the state’s labor force and its industrial 
composition. It appears as though newer jobs tend to require a higher 
education. The share of adults with a bachelor’s degree increased by the 
same amount or more as the national increase in eight of the 10 states 
with the largest proportional rise in employment over the decade. In 
regards to overall job growth among states, Kohli added, it seems that 
“having an educated labor force was definitely a positive thing.”

To identify the states with the most and least job growth, 24/7 Wall St. 
reviewed employment changes in each state from December 2007 through 
December 2016. State totals, as well as the relative increase in each 
state’s employment came from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area 
Unemployment Statistics database. Educational attainment, median 
household income, and industry composition are as of 2015, unless 
otherwise specified, and are the most recent figures available from the 
U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. All references to 
proportional or nominal changes in jobs or workers in this piece refer 
to total employment change.

City of Bosie Idaho with modern buildings

*11. Idaho*
*> 10-yr. employment change:* +6.7%
*> Employment change:* 44,200
*> Dec. unemployment:* 3.7%
*> Total employment:* 700,700

Idaho has one of the healthiest economies of any state. In the last 10 
years, employment has increased by 6.7%, more rapidly than in the vast 
majority of states. The increasing number of jobs in the state were not 
enough to lower unemployment, however. Some 3.7% of Idaho’s labor force 
is out of a job, up from 3.2% in December 2007. Still, unemployment in 
the state falls below the national unemployment rate by a full 
percentage point.

While employment has increased rapidly in Idaho, incomes have not. The 
typical Idaho household earns $48,275 a year, only about $2,000 more 
than the median household income a decade ago. Median income across the 
United States increased by about $5,000 over the same period.



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