Latest State Employment Trends (March 2015)

  • Utah, Florida, and Pacific Ocean states of Washington, Oregon, and California are rolling along in jobs.  Given clear linkage between jobs and home sales, REALTORS® in these states should expect busy activity.
  • North Dakota and Texas, which had consistently been ranked in top-five in recent years, are sliding down the poll.  North Dakota fell to #7 while Texas slid to #12.  Reason: low oil prices.
  • Only West Virginia had fewer jobs this March versus one year ago.  Aside from the Mountaineers, the slowest growing states were Mississippi, Maine, Montana, and Alaska.  REALTORS® in these states should be cautious.
  • Only 15 states experienced a strengthening job market condition in the latest.  The 35 remainder states experienced a weakening condition.  Utah, for example, still creates jobs at a fast pace of 4.0 percent in the past 12 months to March, but that is slower compared to 4.3 percent pace in February.
  • At the metro level, job creation is the fastest in the following markets over the 12-months.  Some of the below markets are quickly decelerating, like Midland; while others are accelerating, like Savannah.  The only big market in this top-ten metro list is San Jose.  If you are not a homeowner in San Jose, you can expect to live in another city next year since rents are also rising super fast.

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  • Aside from the one year trend, it is worth noting of very long term patterns.  The Baltimore metro area, which includes the surrounding counties, has been creating jobs at the respectable pace.  Not so for Baltimore City itself.  There had been nearly ½ million jobs in the city 30 years ago but now has shrunk to 364,200 job in the most recent months.  At the other end, Las Vegas has been high flyer where jobs have gone from 200,000 to 897,600 in March over the same period.  Nevada jobs in the long past were in silver mining (as in Mark Twain’s Roughing It).  After that run, there was nothing in the state other than desert and therefore jobs declined for a long period.  Then the state became creative: it manufactured divorces and marriages.  Forget the long wait time, Nevada promoted an instant change from misery to bliss round-the-clock.  The state also took advantage of allowing boxing when other states started to prohibited it.  The spectators cannot simply watch two men beat each other up; they also need to bet money.

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Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

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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