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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.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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Comments
  1. In North Dakota we are proud of our growth. Before you send someone here for those $18/hr McDonalds jobs, know that those wages are in the OIL production counties which are in the Western half of the state. Housing needs have not yet caught up with the growth of new residents. So, be aware that housing may not be available and when it is, rentals and houses arepriced very high: Even if you make $18/ hour. The Eastern half of the state is also doing well economically but wages are not as high as West of the Missouri River. Make housing plans before moving to North Dakota hoping to get a job once here. Our homeless shelters are overcrowded. And, yes, we have some Winter. Thank you.