Top Job Growth States

December 7th, 2011
in econ_news

Econintersect:   Texas and Nevada are the states with the highest projected job growth rates over the next five years, according to an article published Job-WantedDecember 5 by Forbes.  The two have annual average projected employment growth of 2.9%, and Arizona is close behind at 2.8%.  The data was compiled by economist Art Laffer who emphasized that eight of the ten top states were right-to-work law states, where no job can be restricted to only union members.  More than 1/3 of the 22 right-to-work states made the list.  A stronger correlation is that all five of the states in the U.S. that border either Mexico or California make the list and a sixth, Utah, is in the same region.

Follow up:

The focus of Laffer on right-to-work laws is shown in the following excerpt:

Most of the states expecting strong job gains have one thing in common: all but two (New Mexico and Oregon) are right-to-work states. These states give employees the right to decide if they want to join a union or not. There are 22 right-to-work states.

Economist Arthur Laffer pulled together economic data on states as part of a new book, "Eureka! How to Fix California," being published in February by California think tank Pacific Research Institute. Laffer found that in the past decade right-to-work states outperformed their union-shop counterparts in almost every metric. Gross state product growth was 53 percent versus 42 percent. Personal incomes rose 50 percent compared to 39 percent for union states. Job growth was 2.8 percent versus -1.3 percent and the population increase was 12 percent opposed to 6 percent.

Companies are increasingly shunning union-shop states. Boeing is currently battling the National Labor Relations Board over its right to operate a $750 million aircraft assembly line in South Carolina instead of Washington State. The NLRB claims Boeing located the plant in South Carolina in retaliation for Boeing union workers in Washington going on strike. Boeing cites lower business costs in its choice of South Carolina for the plant.

If you are looking for a job right now it might be best to be selective in where you look.  Only four of the ten states have unemployment rates under 8%:  Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota.  Texas has an unemployment rate (8.5%) close to the national average (8.6%).  The second and third states (Nevada and Arizona) are in deep employment depressions with 13.4% unemployment.  And if you are looking for a good paying job, statistically Texas is the worst place to look, with the highest minimum wage employment in the entire country (9.4%).


A Forbes slide show is available here.

Source:  Forbes on


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