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
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.
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.
April Jobs Report
John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)
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