Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State

 

female-banker-federal-reserve-banks-credit-intermediation-and-related-services
Source: Thinkstock

41. South Dakota
> Largest industry: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services
> Industry GDP contribution: $4.57 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 11.4%
> Industry private workforce: 16,969

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, South Dakota bank assets are worth nearly $3 trillion, or roughly 18% of all bank assets in the United States. In addition, many major banks have their credit card headquarters in South Dakota because the state eliminated interest rate caps.

An unambiguously bank-friendly state, South Dakota’s largest industry is banking. Annual economic output from banking accounts for more than a tenth of the state’s total GDP.

 
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Source: Thinkstock

42. Tennessee
> Largest industry: Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP contribution: $13.33 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.8%
> Industry private workforce: 144,014

Ambulatory health care services, or outpatient health care, is the largest industry by economic output in Tennessee. The industry contributes more than $13 billion to the state’s economy and employs more than 144,000 people statewide. In Nashville alone, the broader health care industry accounts for more than a quarter of all nonfarm employment.

 
Oil well and Storage Tanks, Texas
Source: Thinkstock

43. Texas
> Largest industry: Oil and gas extraction
> Industry GDP contribution: $127.18 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 8.9%
> Industry private workforce: 99,353

The Permian Basin in West Texas is home to 20 of the nation’s 100 largest oil fields. It is therefore not surprising that oil and gas extraction is the state’s largest industry, and that Texas is the nation’s largest oil producing state by a wide margin. The industry contributes $127.18 billion to the economy, dwarfing the economic output of any one industry in any state and the total GDPs of 19 states. Oil prices fell sharply in 2014, from well over $100 a barrel to a low as $30 a barrel in early 2016. While the drop certainly had an impact in Texas as it did elsewhere, the industry remains massive. Also, prices have risen so far this year, an encouraging development for industry workers in Texas.

 
Young woman taking money from ATM, credit card
Source: Thinkstock

44. Utah
> Largest industry: Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related services
> Industry GDP contribution: $5.84 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.6%
> Industry private workforce: 34,458

Utah’s banking industry, which is unique compared with banking in other states, contributes more to state GDP than any other industry. There are for example 15 industrial banks operating in the state. In Utah, these banks are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as other banks. Companies may seek an industrial bank charter to avoid the limitations of the Bank Holding Company Act or the Glass Steagall Act. Only a few states have these banks.

The banking industry’s economic output dropped to $5.8 billion from $6.1 billion in 2014. Although the industry shrank, Utah’s total GDP expanded by 2.2%. The industry also remains the largest in the state.

 
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Source: Thinkstock

45. Vermont
> Largest industry: Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP contribution: $1.25 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.6%
> Industry private workforce: 20,903

Health-related sectors are the largest industry in many states. With its hospitals and nursing industry contributing $1.25 billion to its economy, the health-related sector is also the largest in Vermont. In old age, there is a greater risk of injury and certain health conditions, and older individuals tend to visit the doctor more often. In Vermont, 17.6% of the population is 65 and older, the fourth highest percentage of any state.

Vermont’s unemployment rate, which has fallen each year since the end of the recession, continues to be among the lowest in the nation. The state’s health industry appears to provide a reliable source of relatively high-paying jobs. The industry employs more than 20,000 Vermonters, or 8.2% of the workforce. The typical industry worker in the state earns $49,270 annually, greater than the national average salary for the industry.