Policy: Labor

EXography: Top 10 states for new jobs fuel hope for economic growth

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Job-creating successes

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At just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, national job growth is barely keeping up with the increase in the working-age population.

Still, some states did better than others in 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found recently that 33 states have enjoyed statistically significant job growth year-over-year.

Here are the biggest job-gainers of the year that ended Nov. 30:

10. Colorado

Maybe all that gun-related election spending helped out. The Centennial State has 46,000 more people employed today than it did a year ago — a gain of two percent, which is 18 percent ahead of the national rate.

Fracking has played a large role — Colorado now ranks sixth for natural gas production and ninth for oil. The unemployment rate fell in one year from 7.6 to 6.5 percent.

9. Delaware

Hi, we're in ... Delaware ... home to the nation's most corporate-friendly legal system. Financial and professional services enjoyed the largest gains as Delaware created 8,400 jobs for 2 percent growth year-over-year. It also has some nice beaches.

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8. Indiana

The Hoosier State's beaches aren't as nice as Delaware's, but it is a new right-to-work state and No. 1 for manufacturing as a share of employment.

The Hoosier Tiger now sustains nearly 3 million workers on the job — more than Washington state, which has a larger and faster-growing population.

Unemployment in Indiana fell from 8.4 percent to 7.3 percent this year as 61,100 new jobs were created, a 2.1 percent employment increase. Neighboring Illinois, with a population twice as large, created fewer jobs over the same period.

7. Utah

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman once bragged that his state led Texas in job creation. It wasn't true in 2013, but Utah is still doing well with 28,100 new jobs, or 2.2 percent growth year-over-year. And unemployment, already low, fell by a full point to 4.3 percent.

6. Oregon

There's more in Oregon than just wacky Obamacare ads. Construction jobs are up nearly 8 percent in the Beaver State since last year.

Oregon added 36,800 jobs for 2.2 percent annual growth, and its unemployment rate fell from 8.4 percent to 7.3 percent.

5. Georgia

Its unemployment rate remains above the national average, but it fell over the last year from 8.7 percent to 7.7 percent. Construction jobs rose 9.5 percent in Georgia as overall job growth rose 2.3 percent, or 91,400 jobs.

4. Idaho

No, it's not just a bunch of potatoes. The Gem State's employment base increased by 2.3 percent as it added 14,500 jobs in 12 months, leaping ahead of New Hampshire in its absolute job total. The state's unemployment rate also fell from 6.5 percent to 6.1 percent.

3. Florida

Compare the Sunshine State to Nevada — another state battered by the 2008 real estate crash — and there's just no competition.

Job growth in Florida was 183,100, or 2.5 percent year-over-year. Unemployment, which exceeded 11 percent after the crash, fell from 8 percent to 6.4 percent over the last 12 months.

2. Texas

In absolute terms, Texas remains the granddaddy of job growth with 274,200 new jobs, beating even California despite the Golden State's much larger population.

With 2.5 percent job growth over the year, Texas is now home to three-quarters as many total jobs as California, despite having just two-thirds the population.

1. North Dakota

For years, state legislators considered renaming this state just "Dakota" to make it seem less remote. That won't be necessary if the state's job creation keeps up — it increased 4 percent last year, or by 17,500 jobs.

The state's oil boom has its infrastructure struggling to keep up with demand for new services. Oil and gas exploration has created well-paying jobs and huge demand for supporting industries.

Construction jobs are up 8 percent year-over-year. And at 2.6 percent, the unemployment rate is almost as low as the temperature this time of year.

David Freddoso is editor of ConservativeIntel.com, which first posted the original version of this research. He is the former editorial page editor for the Washington Examiner.
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