And Then There Were Three…

Well, it’s happened again. Another state has recovered all the jobs it lost since the Great Recession.

As the chart above shows, of the 47 states that hit their employment peaks right before the dawn of the downturn, just three have yet to fully rebound.* Mississippi was the latest to find itself in positive territory.

Wyoming, at -4.84 percent, remains worst off. Next up is Connecticut (-1.24 percent), faring just a little poorer than New Mexico, at -1.13 percent.

Despite the happy talk and bipartisan groupthink in Santa Fe, the Land of Enchantment has had no net job growth in a decade. It’s an ugly reality that should be the first item discussed when candidates coming knocking on voters’ doors in the months to come.

* All but three states experienced the same employment trend during and after the Great Recession — peak jobs just before the downturn struck, followed by a significant drop-off, then a climb back toward the previous level. But Michigan, Alaska, and West Virginia encountered different conditions, and are thus difficult to categorize. Jobs were disappearing in the Wolverine State well before the Great Recession struck. The Last Frontier lost only a small number of jobs in the downturn, then rebounded quickly, but has since fallen beneath its peak. The Mountain State faced similar circumstances, rapidly regaining its employment level only to see jobs disappear in the coal industry in recent years. For these reasons, the three states are excluded from this analysis.

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