5 States Leading Employment Growth with These Top Industries

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The U.S. job market, while having improved greatly since the recession, remains a challenge for many unemployed Americans. Some states have shown more promising employment opportunities than others in the last few years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, and looking specifically at the years of 2008 to 2012.

Regionally, the Great Lakes area and Far West are ranked worst in terms of employment growth, while the Southwest is doing well in that regard. The bottom five states are Maine, Oregon, New Mexico, Idaho, and Nevada, falling between -0.74 and -1.43 compound annual growth rate in total employment. The top five states are, in order, North Dakota, Texas, Alaska, and South Dakota, and New York — with North Dakota showing a compound annual growth rate of 3.46 between 2008 and 2012, while North Dakota shows a rate of 0.06. The only state that has, on average, not changed between the allotted time, is Florida.

Then, within each of the states with the highest growth, certain industries have shown greater full and part-time employment growth. North Dakota’s biggest bumps in employment are quite clearly stemming from its mining industry, with by far the greatest compound annual growth rates in the mining — more so in the oil and gas extraction industry than others — and in industries supporting mining activities more than in mining itself, with a CAGR of 42.80.

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