Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

The Latest on State-by-State Job Growth Rates

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses job growth rates by state.

  • Jobs will become ever more critical in supporting the housing expansion as housing affordability declines.
  • Some states are doing better than others in this regard.  As one would expect, where there are jobs, good stuff is occurring in those states:  retail vacancy rates decline, the state budget situation improves, mortgage delinquencies rapidly fall, wages rise quickly, among others.
  • The following is the ranking of state-by-state in job growth over the past 12 months.
  • North Dakota has been quite amazing in terms of job growth, not only over the past year but over the past 5 years.  It even skipped the recession experienced by the rest of the country.  The state budget surplus is huge.  The unemployment rate is 3 percent, or essentially non-existent.  The starting wage rate at McDonalds to flip a burger is said to be $18 per hour.  The minimum wage mandate becomes non-relevant if the job market is robust.
  • Alaska is the only state with fewer jobs now versus one year ago.  It is unclear what the reasons are.  But don’t feel too much pity, though: Alaska would rank near the top in job growth if viewing it over the past 5 years.

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