State Employment Growth Provides a Reminder That Policy Matters

By at 26 August, 2018, 8:38 am

Small Business Insider

by Raymond J. Keating-

The United States economy differs across the 50 states. The latest state employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides another reminder of this reality.

For example, as noted by the BLS: “Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 6 states in July 2018, decreased in 1 state, and was essentially unchanged in 43 states and the District of Columbia.”

However, even when statistically significant, changes from one month to the next don’t really tell the story. Instead, it’s the trend that tends to provide insights and value. Consider, for example and as noted by the BLS, that 34 states had statistically significant changes in employment from July 2017 to July 2018 – and all were positive gains. That’s good news.

The Top 10 gainers were:


   Percent Change in Employment,

   July 2017 to July 2018

















North Carolina





Most of the States with Positive Gains Rank High on Small Business Friendliness

It should not be surprising that of these top ten states, eight ranked among the top states on SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2018: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship.”

Specifically, on the Index, Utah ranked #10, Nevada #1, Texas #2, Washington #7, Colorado #13, Florida #5, North Carolina #17, and Arizona #6.

Yes, policy – taxes, regulations, government spending and debt, etc. – very much matters, along with a host of other issues, when it comes to having an impact on the decisions made by entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and workers, and therefore affecting such key factors like economic, income and employment growth.

Getting policy right – in particular, limiting governmental burdens on entrepreneurship, small business and investment – is central to providing a sound foundation for a state’s economy can flourish.


Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP:  The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.

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