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July 21, 2015 – Governing, By Mike Maciag

Nevada and North Dakota, once at the bottom and top of unemployment rates, are now seeing their situations reverse.


Job growth in North Dakota is now coming to a halt with the collapse of oil prices. (AP/Eric Gay)

While much of the country experienced high unemployment during the Great Recession, North Dakota’s economy soared. Fueled by an oil boom, the state experienced some of the steepest job gains year after year and, by most accounts, weathered the recession better than any other state.

Meanwhile, recession-era cutbacks and the bursting of the housing bubble hit Nevada particularly hard. The state was home to the nation’s highest unemployment rate for several months, peaking at 13.7 percent in 2010.

Updated jobs data released Tuesday suggests both states' fortunes have now started to reverse.

Nevada’s steady employment growth in recent years has accelerated over the first six months of 2015. While its unemployment rate remains one of the nation’s highest, the state’s job growth rate of 2.1 percent (measured via a separate survey of employers) is tied with Utah for the best of any state.

But in North Dakota, job growth is coming to a halt with the collapse of oil prices. The state is one of the select few to have shed jobs the first half of the year, according to the latest data.

Here's how total employment levels in both states have changed since the start of the recession in December 2007:

Nevada
asd

The western states of Utah, Nevada and South Dakota have recorded the fastest job growth rates over the first half of the year. California’s economy has also expanded by an impressive 208,000 positions so far – nearly double the tally of any other state.

According to latest data, West Virginia has lost the most jobs over the first six months (-9,900) and its unemployment rate of 7.4 percent is now the nation's highest.

The following table compares the most recent state employment estimates for June to December 2014 job totals:

State
Percent Change Since December (%)
Change Since December
December 2014
June 2015
Nevada 2.1 25,600 1,230,500 1,256,100
Utah 2.1 27,800 1,353,600 1,381,400
South Dakota 2.0 8,400 424,700 433,100
Idaho 1.9 12,800 659,100 671,900
Washington 1.6 50,100 3,122,600 3,172,700
Michigan 1.4 61,100 4,217,600 4,278,700
South Carolina 1.4 27,200 1,975,200 2,002,400
Florida 1.3 105,100 7,965,700 8,070,800
Colorado 1.3 32,800 2,492,800 2,525,600
California 1.3 208,400 15,860,700 16,069,100
Hawaii 1.2 7,600 626,000 633,600
Massachusetts 1.2 40,200 3,445,900 3,486,100
Oregon 1.2 20,400 1,750,800 1,771,200
Indiana 1.1 32,100 3,012,100 3,044,200
Vermont 1.0 3,000 311,700 314,700
New York 0.9 84,700 9,156,300 9,241,000
Rhode Island 0.9 4,300 479,300 483,600
North Carolina 0.8 34,900 4,203,100 4,238,000
Connecticut 0.8 13,800 1,678,100 1,691,900
Minnesota 0.8 23,100 2,831,400 2,854,500
Maine 0.8 4,600 604,700 609,300
Kentucky 0.8 14,200 1,880,000 1,894,200
Iowa 0.7 11,500 1,559,100 1,570,600
Virginia 0.7 27,100 3,797,400 3,824,500
Maryland 0.7 17,800 2,641,300 2,659,100
Georgia 0.7 27,500 4,226,500 4,254,000
Tennessee 0.6 17,100 2,850,900 2,868,000
Delaware 0.6 2,600 442,800 445,400
Arkansas 0.6 6,800 1,204,600 1,211,400
New Jersey 0.6 22,400 3,982,300 4,004,700
Montana 0.5 2,400 454,700 457,100
Ohio 0.5 27,900 5,368,800 5,396,700
Missouri 0.5 13,400 2,744,600 2,758,000
Texas 0.5 53,600 11,749,500 11,803,100
Mississippi 0.4 4,500 1,124,500 1,129,000
Pennsylvania 0.4 21,900 5,825,500 5,847,400
New Hampshire 0.4 2,300 653,000 655,300
Wisconsin 0.3 10,000 2,872,000 2,882,000
Arizona 0.3 7,800 2,607,300 2,615,100
Illinois 0.2 13,200 5,907,000 5,920,200
Alabama 0.1 2,400 1,942,800 1,945,200
Kansas 0.1 1,700 1,401,900 1,403,600
District of Columbia 0.1 400 761,400 761,800
Nebraska 0.0 -100 996,800 996,700
New Mexico 0.0 -100 827,400 827,300
Louisiana -0.1 -2,400 1,996,600 1,994,200
Oklahoma -0.5 -8,900 1,668,300 1,659,400
Alaska -0.8 -2,700 340,600 337,900
West Virginia -1.3 -9,900 763,100 753,200
Wyoming -1.3 -3,900 295,000 291,100
North Dakota -1.4 -6,600 469,800 463,200

SOURCE: Governing calculations of BLS seasonally-adjusted nonfarm employment estimates. June estimates are preliminary.

 

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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