Saturday, February 9, 2013

Let there be jobs: Why North Dakota, Midwest rocks

Two months into the new year and the topic still on everyone's mind is jobs. With the unemployment rates not budging as many Americans had hoped for under the Obama administration, coupled with news of mass layoffs has many re-thinking their own job security. With the economy not showing much improvement, workers everywhere have learned their jobs are not guaranteed. While this negative news can be cause for pessimism, there is hope.

Throughout 2012, North Dakota and several Midwestern states have shown strong job growth. Not only did North Dakota come in number one in the volume of jobs it created this year, but it has held the top spot for four consecutive years.

Here are the top and bottom ten job creators by state during 2012, as surveyed by Gallup:

Top States, Gallup Job Creation Index, January-December 2012Bottom States, Gallup Job Creation Index, January-December 2012

Many of the states that ranked high on the list are repeat job creators. These states fell in the Midwest region of the US. Six of the ten bottom states are on the upper east coast. On a national level, the average number of job increase showed a steady improvement over the previous year. Specifically, there was an average five point increase between 2011 and 2012. Gallup places its national Job Creation Index at 18 points, which is back to its 2008 range.

Keep in mind that this is one study based on the replies of select populations, so there is an expected margin of error. However, it does make an important revelation. According to Gallup, North Dakota's economy has been sustained by the energy, technological and agricultural sectors. It is faulting the upper east coast's jobs lag on the financial services industry. An important consideration for those looking to move to find a better job or just thinking about pursuing another degree.

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