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Idaho ranks 39th in job creation according to recent study

Idaho ranks 39th in job creation according to recent study

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
July 29, 2010

According to a recent study published by Portfolio.com, Idaho is near the bottom when it comes to job creation in the past five years.  The study, released earlier this week, found that of the 50 states, Idaho is ranked in as 11th-worst.  Lesser-populated states North Dakota and Alaska came in first and second place, respectively, and were the only two states to see increases in private sector employment in the past five years.  Some of the largest states in the union, California and Florida, finished at the bottom of the rankings, with both seeing double-digit percentages in jobs lost in the last half-decade.

The findings are bad news for Idaho, which used to rank in the top 10 in the publication's annual survey.  In 2007, Idaho achieved its highest ranking in recent history in the report, earning a 4th-place finish.  In 2009, Idaho was ranked 32nd among the states.  In the past year, Idaho has just less than a half of a million private sector jobs.  The state shed 9,500 in the past five years, with 7,400 of those jobs losses coming in the past year.

Portfolio.com focused on raw data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with the rankings.  The publication compared job increases or losses to overall jobs in the state to come up with the percentages of growth.  Some states, like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas, showed positive overall growth in the last five years, though some of those states may have lost jobs since mid-year 2009.  The states near the bottom of the list are those that show a contraction of jobs in the past year and five years.

Idaho wasn't the lowest-ranked in the northwest region, however.  Oregonfound itself ranked 40th among all the states, though with much higher numbers of jobs lost in the past five years.  Oregon's economy sustained 1,283,000 private sector jobs in 2009, but lost about 2 percent in the past year.  In all, about 24,000 jobs were lost in that state.  Oregon's ranking, like Idaho's, has fallen overall since 2005, when it was ranked 15th.  The highest ranking achieved by Oregon in the past half-decade was 11th in 2006.

One of Idaho's other neighbors fared much better than Oregon and Idaho.  Utah ranked 10th among all states and added private sector jobs in the past five years.  Though Utah experienced a .2 percent loss in jobs in the past year, it has gained more than 34,000 jobs since 2005.  Utah is used to a high-ranking by Portfolio.com; it has found itself in the top 10 of the publication's findings five times in the past six years.  In 2009, Utah was ranked 13th.

With the exception of Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada, the rest of the states in the west region performed better in the study than did Idaho.  Washington ranked 25th, Montana founds itself in 28th, New Mexico in at 36, and Wyoming was 20th.  California finished almost dead last at 50, while shedding more than 251,000 jobs in the past year.  Arizona, in 44th, lost 19,500 in the past year, while Nevada, which came in 51st (due to the inclusion of the District of Columbia) lost more than 30,000 private sector jobs in between mid-year 2009 and 2010.

View the full results of the study here.

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