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Justin Fox

Some States Are Losing Jobs. Most Aren't.

Economies built on energy are shaky. Others are thriving on low oil prices.
Better days in North Dakota.

Better days in North Dakota.

Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

North Dakota, a hotbed of the now-cooled fracking boom, lost 21,100 jobs from January 2015 through January 2016. That's a 4.5 percent decline, by far the worst performance of any state over the past year, according to payroll employment numbers released this week. Employment in the state is up by a lot since the nation's jobs recovery began in early 2010, though:

Overall, the job market in the U.S. is still strong, according to the national employment report released March 4. But North Dakota isn't the only place where jobs are disappearing. Six states saw payroll employment decline over the 12 months ending in January. Here are the others (to make the numbers comparable, I've indexed them to a starting point of 100 in January 2010; a reading of 108, for example, means an 8 percent job gain since then):