Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

Richard Rider

A puzzler: Why are ND and CO the two best employment states?

Here’s a puzzler: The new (June) state unemployment figures are out, and two states are tied for the lowest rate of only 2.3% — North Dakota and Colorado.

ND is the lowest it’s been since 1976 when this information began being tracked monthly. The June national unemployment average is 4.4%.

Why is it puzzling that these two states are best? Well ND is supposedly suffering from the collapse in petroleum prices (down over 50% from the peak in June, 2014). A recession was universally predicted for the state. Yet its unemployment level is now lower than when the fracking boom was in full swing.

Colorado? They legalized MJ. All sorts of conflicting reports about the result (government can screw anything up), but it’s apparent that the economy did not collapse. Far from it!

I should also mention that Tennessee hit similar record low unemployment figures for that state — 3.6% — the best since 1976.  Coincidentally Tennessee recently scheduled the final phaseout of what remains of their state income tax.  No connection, of course.

Fortunately California has also rallied in the last couple of years, but we are still tied for 11th worst, with an unemployment rate of 4.7%. We also are the third worst state for people working only part-time (the “U-6” criteria). California epitomizes today’s “gig economy.”