State Policy Network
SPN State Jobs Report: States leading in job recovery are the same ones attracting new residents

SPN’s State Jobs Report is a monthly tracker that ranks states’ progress in post-pandemic job recovery and identifies related policy trends impacting recovery.

By Michael Lucci, Senior Policy Advisor at State Policy Network

The latest job recovery rankings in SPN’s State Jobs Report reveal an interesting pattern: Many of the states leading in job creation are the same ones Americans are choosing to call their new homes.

According to SPN’s State Voices poll in May 2022, one in eight Americans are interested in moving across state lines. Four percent of voters have already moved within the past year, and 12% say they are interested in doing so within the next six months. The consideration is especially strong among voters under 25 (29%), African American voters (27%), and urban voters (21%).

Is job recovery playing a part in Americans’ decisions to relocate? State payroll jobs data as of April 2022 suggests it might be. States with slower recovery—California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan—have seen more residents move out. Meanwhile, places like Idaho, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina are not only in the top ten for job recovery, but they also top the list of states where Americans are putting down new roots.

State Jobs Report: 50-State Rankings for February 2020-April 2022

State Job Recovery Trends as of April 2022

National Job Recovery Trends as of April 2022

Key Takeaways: The impact of state policies on job recovery

1. Americans are migrating towards states with faster recoveries in the Sunbelt and Mountain West.

They are migrating away from large states with slower recoveries such as California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan. Cities like Austin, Nashville, and Raleigh are boasting some of the best job markets in the country.

2. States that have rebounded and crossed the jobs recovery finish line embrace policies that attract families and businesses.

These policies include a lighter approach on lockdowns during the pandemic, lower taxes, fewer economic regulations, and a lower cost of living.

3. State tax competition will continue to be fierce going forward.

Workers and families are increasingly able to relocate due to increased remote work. Furthermore, taxpayers can no longer write off high state and local taxes against their federal tax returns.

According to the Tax Foundation, Americans who moved in 2021 demonstrated a clear preference for low-tax states. And in SPN’s May 2022 State Voices poll, 65% of Americans said that, in the current rocky financial environment, state-level tax relief would have a positive impact on their personal financial situation. For states looking to strengthen their economies and remain competitive, tax policies will matter significantly—and could represent one of the best policy opportunities to persuade families and businesses that their state is the best place to call home.

Related Reading

April Jobs Report
John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)

Declining April Jobs in Kansas Amidst Recession Fears
Kansas Policy Institute

Ohio’s April Jobs Report Shows Continued Growth, National Signs Point to Slowdown
The Buckeye Institute

New Jersey’s Labor Market Continues Its Rebound
Garden State Initiative

The Best Job Markets Aren’t in the Biggest Cities
The Wall Street Journal

Americans Moved to Low-Tax States in 2021
Tax Foundation

10 States People Are Fleeing And 10 States People Are Moving To

Categories: Policy Issues
Policy Issues: Economy, Jobs