In case you haven’t noticed, some parts of the country are doing better economically than others. You may have heard President Donald Trump talk about “American carnage,” or mention the rusted-out factories dotting the landscape like “tombstones.” In some places, this is a reality. But in other areas, you’re more likely to see people commuting on Solowheels to their six-figure desk jobs, sipping flavored coffee along the way.
The rhetoric paints a confounding picture. And there’s no easy way to explain it. Many areas in the United States, like the Rust Belt, have lost as a result of globalization. Others, mainly wealthy coastal cities, have gained — but not necessarily at the other’s expense. Jobs, money, and opportunity has shifted from state to state and country to country. It has happened at breakneck speed and knocked many communities into flux.
Still, some states are maintaining solid economic growth. These states may not even contain any of those big, rich coastal cities. In a globalized economy, the ability to attract business and investment, and as a byproduct the creation of jobs, is as valuable as anything.
So, what are these states? By looking at data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can pinpoint the states where jobs are being created in abundance. The following 10 states saw the biggest bump in employment numbers over the course of 2016, helping to lower or maintain their already low unemployment rates.
Here are the 10 states that created the most jobs in 2016.
Rife with sprawling mountain ranges, large freshwater lakes, and plenty of agriculture, Idaho is largely rural. It also cracked the top 10 in terms of job creation in 2016. Year-over-year employment went up by 1.9%.
Massachusetts keeps chugging along. The Patriots won another Super Bowl, and jobs continue to be created on the backbone of a strong local economy. In 2016, employment increased by 2.1%.
Perhaps we should expect California’s economy to improve further on the heels of marijuana legalization? That’ll be interesting to watch out for, but things still went pretty well for the Golden State in 2016. California’s employment numbers jumped as much as 2.1% last year.
It’s not just the land of The Walking Dead — Georgia is putting people to work left and right. Employment increased 2.2% in 2016, but the state’s unemployment rate is still slightly higher than the national average.
Heading into 2017, Missouri’s unemployment rate is beating the national average at around 4.4%. The state had a strong year of job growth in 2016, with employment numbers improving by 2.3%.
Utah’s become somewhat of an economic hub in recent years. The state is attracting businesses — including many startups and tech companies — and entrepreneurs. Employment jumped 2.8% in 2016, and the state’s employment rate is at a remarkable 3.1%.
Nevada’s economy has also seen considerable growth in recent years. The state’s unemployment rate is currently around 5%, and in 2016, employment improved by 2.9%.
Perhaps it’s the marijuana, weird donuts, or fixed-gear bicycle nuts that are peddling Oregon’s economy to the top of the charts? Or close to the top, anyway. Oregon’s employment numbers increased 3% in 2016, and the unemployment rate is beating the national rate at 4.6%
Behold, America’s number one job creator in 2016: Florida. Well, it’s technically tied with Oregon, having bumped employment by as much as 3% in the past year. Florida’s unemployment rate is sitting pretty as well, below 5%.