Ten states added over 25,000 jobs each in the period from January to June 2011. The list was topped by Texas, which added over 117,000. Among the ten, the total net job addition was 517,000. This number may not seem large, but it is, compared to the 18,000 non-farm payroll additions across the entire U.S. in the month of June.
The first common factor among the ten states is that they all have large populations. There would be no reason to expect South Dakota to add 100,000 jobs in six months because it has such a small workforce. However, size is not a sufficient explanation for the job creation levels. Tennessee and Indiana each have a large employed population and each lost over 11,000 jobs in the first half of the year.
The states on the 24/7 Wall St. “Ten States That Added The Most Jobs In The First Half” fall mostly into three categories. The first are states with economies that were badly hurt by the downturn in manufacturing and housing, which began four years ago, and was worsened by the recession. For example, Ohio is the location of a number of auto parts suppliers. The job recovery over the first half of the year was probably driven to some extent by the recovery in the auto sector.
The second category consists of states which had large numbers of financial service jobs, particularly in the mortgage and consumer banking sectors. This group includes New York and Massachusetts, both of which have headquarters of the largest banks, securities firms, and insurance companies in the country. The number of people laid off on Wall St. reached well into the tens of thousands in 2008 and 2009 as Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros failed. Mortgage firms like CountryWide in California nearly closed, and part of their survival strategies were job cuts.
The last and most interesting group of states that did well in the job creation category in the first half is of those that never lost many jobs during the recession in the first place. Texas firms cut 116,900 jobs between the beginning of 2008 and end of 2010. It took only six months to add back 117,600 positions. The energy and tech industries and large populations of people in higher education and healthcare did not face the level of layoffs that occurred in places like Florida and Michigan.