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How Is the Job Market in Your State?

With the focus often on the big picture, it’s easy to overlook an important fact: Not every state is experiencing robust job growth and the challenges that come with it.

Source: Elisa Lara / iStock / Getty

Effects of the Great Recession are still being felt in several states.

States Still Struggling

According to research from human capital solutions provider CareerBuilder, seven states haven’t recovered from the recession, even as the country as a whole had 6,692,837 more jobs in 2017 than in 2007.

The study is based on data from Emsi, CareerBuilder’s labor market analysis arm that aggregates information from multiple national and local employment resources. The following are seven states that had fewer jobs in 2017 than they did in 2007:

  • Alabama: 62,637 fewer jobs – 3 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • West Virginia: 33,428 fewer jobs – 4 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Mississippi: 26,666 fewer jobs – 2 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • New Mexico: 23,422 fewer jobs – 2 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Connecticut: 19,781 fewer jobs – 1 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Wyoming: 13,257 fewer jobs – 4 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Illinois: 11,682 fewer jobs – 0.2 percent – in 2017 than in 2007

States with the Most Job Growth

Of the 40 states that had more jobs in 2017 than they did in 2007, 14 have outpaced the overall national job growth rate. The seven states with the largest net increase in jobs since 2007 are:

  • Texas: 1,699,505 more jobs – 15 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • California: 1,239,911 more jobs – 7 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • New York: 597,961 more jobs – 6 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Florida: 455,134 more jobs – 5 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Washington: 300,885 more jobs – 9 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Colorado: 293,160 more jobs – 11 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Massachusetts: 288,446 more jobs – 8 percent – in 2017 than in 2007

“While we have been seeing job growth in nearly every state since the recession ended, some states have recovered faster than others. Still, even in areas where job growth has lagged, there are occupations and industries that are growing,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and coauthor of The Talent Equation. “Companies looking to hire in those regions should expand their search to workers with transferrable skills in other, less recovered local industries. There are competitive advantages to be had by tapping new talent pools and investing in reskilling and training workers.”

Occupations with the Most Growth

CareerBuilder notes that the recession had wide ranging effects, and no corner of the workforce was completely unaffected. Still, while the country overall has 4 percent more jobs than it did in 2007, some occupations have fared considerably better.

The following occupations have not only seen some of the highest 2007-2017 growth rates nationally, they’ve also grown in each of the states that haven’t fully recovered:

  • Registered nurses: 397,315 more jobs – 16 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Waiters and waitresses: 328,431 more jobs – 14 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Home health aides: 296,952 more jobs – 46 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Nursing assistants: 163,770 more jobs – 12 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Postsecondary teachers: 151,047 more jobs – 11 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Landscaping and grounds keeping workers: 110,037 more jobs – 9 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Medical secretaries: 95,649 more jobs – 20 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Web developers: 47,073 more jobs – 38 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Veterinary technologists and technicians: 25,033 more jobs – 32 percent in 2017 than in 2007
  • Genetic counselors: 709 more jobs – 31 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Health technologists and technicians, all other: 30,583 more jobs – 30 percent in 2017 than in 2007
  • Hearing aid specialists: 1,582 more jobs – 28 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Operations research analysts: 24,742 more jobs – 27 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Mental health counselors: 34,996 more jobs – 27 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Athletic trainers: 5,438 more jobs – 26 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Healthcare social workers: 35,980 more jobs – 26 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Meeting, convention, and event planners: 22,601 more jobs – 24 percent – in 2017 than in 2007
  • Computer systems analysts: 106,992 more jobs – 22 percent – in 2017 than in 2007