Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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U.S. Sun Belt Showed Best Labor Market Improvement Last Year

  • Majority of 15 fastest growing states in southern tier of U.S.
  • Bloomberg gauge assesses employment growth and jobless decline

Bloomberg News created a state labor market gauge by calculating the aggregate annual net change in the number of people employed and unemployed from Jan. 2017 to Jan. 2018 and dividing this figure by a state’s civilian non-institutional population.

For example, in California 341,997 jobs were added and the number of people unemployed fell by 151,650 for a net figure of 493,647. This is 1.6 percent of the state’s population of 31.1 million. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, which was ranked in the bottom five states, the number of workers fell by 18,002 and the number of people unemployed rose by 1,695 for a calculation of 0.2 percent.

The 15 states with the most improved labor markets in 2017 based on the Bloomberg calculation were Tennessee, Idaho, Georgia, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Alabama, California, Florida, Oregon, Washington and North Carolina. Ten of these went for President Trump in the 2016 election.

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