Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Surprising Performers in the Latest State and Metro Employment Conditions

  • There are plenty of new jobs in the states in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones and in a few southern states. Idaho, Utah, and Nevada are leaders. The Pacific states of California, Oregon, and Washington as well as the southern states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are among the top ten job creating states.
  • Indiana is the best performer from the Midwest, while Massachusetts is the only state from the Northeast doing better than average.   Energy producing states are suffering. Low oil prices have led to job cuts in Louisiana and North Dakota. West Virginia coal mining jobs are vanishing.
  • In terms of “momentum,” there are 36 states with stronger job conditions in the latest data compared to the prior month. This is good news regarding strengthening support for real estate in more states.
  • As would be expected the states with consistent and fast job gains will be the ones experiencing stronger housing market conditions. The national forecast of existing home sales is expected to rise by about 2 percent in 2016. Idaho and Utah can easily expect to surpass that national growth figure.
  • As for metros, the Silicon Valley in San Jose is still on fire with a 5.1 percent job growth rate. Cape Coral-Ft. Myers and Orlando are creating a bunch of jobs, possibly implying more retirees moving into Florida. Hard to explain, but Grand Rapids, Michigan has been a consistent outperformer with the latest growth rate of 3.8 percent.
  • As an aside, with Idaho now at the top position, the state is not only about potatoes. Though job creation is in the cities and towns, a visitor will absorb the vast empty land with many cows roaming the open range. At times, one can spot a cowboy herding cattle. One cowboy recalled his days moving the herd from Texas to Colorado and further beyond, involving steady circling to squeeze the herd into a tight space for the night, traveling through steady rain for days, cooking over an open fire, etc. He said these were the happiest days of his life. Somehow, we know this statement to be true yet most of us cannot get ourselves out of the city to live that life.
Rank State Net New Jobs (over 12 months) Job Growth Rate               (12-month % change ) Stronger or Weaker compared to the prior month

1

Idaho

25,300

3.8

Stronger

2

Utah

47,700

3.5

Weaker

3

Nevada

42,400

3.4

Stronger

4

Florida

239,900

3.0

Stronger

5

Washington

9,300

3.0

Stronger

6

California

463,800

2.9

Stronger

7

South Carolina

57,400

2.9

Weaker

8

Oregon

46,600

2.7

Stronger

9

Arizona

60,300

2.3

Stronger

10

Georgia

96,900

2.3

Stronger

11

Massachusetts

80,800

2.3

Stronger

12

North Carolina

91,600

2.2

Weaker

13

Colorado

51,700

2.1

Stronger

14

Indiana

60,300

2.0

Stronger

15

Maryland

51,900

2.0

Stronger

16

Hawaii

12,000

1.9

Stronger

17

South Dakota

8,000

1.9

Stronger

18

Michigan

79,600

1.9

Weaker

19

New York

164,000

1.8

Stronger

20

Tennessee

50,500

1.8

Stronger

21

Wisconsin

51,500

1.8

Weaker

22

Kentucky

31,700

1.7

Stronger

23

Texas

204,800

1.7

Weaker

24

Arkansas

19,700

1.6

Weaker

25

Connecticut

24,300

1.4

Stronger

26

Iowa

22,100

1.4

Stronger

27

New Jersey

54,200

1.4

Stronger

28

Ohio

77,300

1.4

Stronger

29

Virginia

47,900

1.3

Stronger

30

Nebraska

12,000

1.2

Stronger

31

Rhode Island

5,800

1.2

Stronger

32

Alabama

21,100

1.1

Weaker

33

Missouri

27,400

1.0

Stronger

34

New Hampshire

6,500

1.0

Stronger

35

Delaware

4,300

1.0

Weaker

36

Maine

5,800

0.9

Stronger

37

Montana

4,100

0.9

Stronger

38

Kansas

10,900

0.8

Stronger

39

Pennsylvania

48,700

0.8

Stronger

40

Vermont

2,600

0.8

Stronger

41

Minnesota

24,300

0.8

Weaker

42

Alaska

2,300

0.7

Stronger

43

Illinois

41,100

0.7

Stronger

44

Mississippi

8,300

0.7

Stronger

45

New Mexico

2,800

0.3

Weaker

46

Wyoming

500

0.2

Stronger

47

Oklahoma

1,300

0.1

Stronger

48

Louisiana

-8,800

-0.4

Weaker

49

West Virginia

-13,600

-1.8

Weaker

50

North Dakota

-9,600

-2.0

Weaker

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.

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