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.