PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

BLS Report: States Split on Job Growth

By at 26 December, 2019, 11:15 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

The latest state employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to show that job growth is split among the states.

First, for the month of November compared to October, nonfarm payroll employment grew in six states (Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Washington, Tennessee and Oregon), dropped in one state (Illinois) and remained basically unchanged in 43 states.

Given some volatility in month-to-month data, if we look at employment changes over the past year, 25 states experienced payroll gains, with the other 25 essentially were unchanged.

From November 2018 to November 2019, ten states had employment gains of better than 2 percent. They were:

State
Percent Change in
Employment, Nov 2018
To Nov 2019

 

Utah
    3.2%
Texas
    2.7%
Idaho
    2.7%
Nevada
    2.6%
Florida
    2.5%
Washington
    2.5%
Alabama
    2.4%
Arizona
    2.4%
Rhode Island
    2.2%
Colorado
    2.1%

 

Do these states have something in common?

Well, it must be noted that among these top 10 states in terms of job growth over the past year, 8 ranked among the top dozen states on SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth,” which ranks the 50 states according to 62 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures.

Once again, we see that public policy, and its effects on costs and incentives, matter in terms of states’ economic performance.

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

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