Ten States That Added The Most Jobs In The First Half

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5. Massachusetts
> 2011 Job Growth (January-June): 39,700
> January Unemployment: 8.3% (tied for 23rd lowest)
> June Unemployment: 7.6% (20th lowest)
> Net Job Change (January 2008-December 2010): -103,600 (26th worst loss)

Massachusetts lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2008 to 2011. At the beginning of this year, unemployment was at 8.3%. In the past six months, the state has gained nearly 40,000 jobs, and unemployment has dropped to 7.6%. According to an article in the Patriot Ledger, most of the growth in the state came in the construction and manufacturing industries, which added a net of 5,000 jobs last month alone. Michael Goodman, a professor at UMass stated: “Our industry mix has allowed us to outperform (the nation), (but) we still continue to have major challenges with long-term unemployment, particularly with those sectors that have been hit hard in the recession.”

4. New York
> 2011 Job Growth (January-June): 59,600
> January Unemployment: 8.3% (tied for 23rd lowest)
> June Unemployment: 8% (23rd lowest)
> Net Job Change (January 2008-December 2010): -247,000 (10th worst loss)

New York has been experiencing a strong economic recovery across the state after losing almost a quarter of a million jobs between 2008 and 2010. The industries in which the most jobs have been added in the past year have been professional and business services and education and health services. Although Wall Street added 2,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2011, the sector has shed 2,900 positions since, according to the Department of Labor.

3. Florida
> 2011 Job Growth (January-June): 85,500
> January Unemployment: 11.9% (3rd highest)
> June Unemployment: 10.4% (7th highest)
> Net Job Change (January 2008-December 2010): -739,000 (2nd worst loss)

Florida was one of – if not the hardest-hit state during the subprime mortgage crisis, losing nearly 750,000 jobs between 2008 and 2011. States with a large construction industry were hurt the most, and Florida was has one of the largest in the country. At the beginning of this year, Florida had the third-highest unemployment rate in the country. Now, thanks to a major recovery in construction, it has dropped to seventh highest, and added 85,000 employees to payrolls in the state. According to the Florida Independent, last month was also the first in five years in which Florida had a net gain in manufacturing jobs.

2. California
> 2011 Job Growth (January-June): 92,300
> January Unemployment: 12.4% (2nd highest)
> June Unemployment: 11.8% (2nd highest)
> Net Job Change (January 2008-December 2010): -1.18 million (worst loss)

California lost over one million jobs between 2008 and 2010 — the greatest amount for any state in the country. With this in mind, the 92,300 jobs added in the state for the first half of the year are not as impressive as they are at first glance. Regardless, the state is making a slow recovery, driven largely by the technology, energy, and medical industries. The state added 28,800 jobs in June alone. These gains largely took place in the manufacturing, professional and business services, education and health services and leisure and hospitality sectors.

1. Texas
> 2011 Job Growth (January-June): 117,600
> January Unemployment: 8.3% (22nd lowest)
> June Unemployment: 8.2%(25th lowest)
> Net Job Change (January 2008-December 2010): -116,900 (24th biggest loss)

For a state of it’s size it is impressive that Texas only lost 116,900 jobs during the recession. Much smaller states, including Nevada, South Carolina and Oregon lost more jobs. The combined labor forces of these three states is less than Texas. In the last six months, the Lone Star State has gained back nearly every single one of the jobs that disappeared between the start of 2008 and end of 2010. In June alone, the U.S. had a net gain of 64,900 private and public sector jobs – nearly half of those came from Texas. The biggest source of growth in the state has been from the energy sector, as oil prices have shot up again and new shale deposits are being exploited. There has also been major growth in natural gas production and refinery. It should be noted, however, that despite this massive increase in jobs, the state unemployment rate has only dropped by a tenth of a percentage in the last six months, as legal and illegal immigration to the state has added citizens as fast as it can add positions.