SPN’s State Jobs Report is a monthly tracker that ranks states’ progress in post-pandemic job recovery and identifies policy trends impacting recovery.
By Michael Lucci, Senior Policy Advisor at State Policy Network
Nevada became the fifteenth state to surpass its pre-pandemic jobs count in June 2022, according to the latest 50-state job recovery ranking in SPN’s State Jobs Report. The state now has 3,100 more jobs than it had in February 2020.
Tennessee, Texas, Montana, Delaware, Florida, and North Carolina are also among the states that continue to experience strong job recovery.
What do these states have in common that’s driving job growth? A major characteristic is their approach to state-level economic policies. States that adopted lighter pandemic lockdowns lead job recovery, and leading economic states are ones that have embraced lower taxes, eased regulations, and pursued further tax and economic reforms to increase opportunity and prosperity in their states.
State Jobs Report: 50-State Rankings for February 2020-June 2022
State Job Recovery Trends as of June 2022
- Tennessee (+1.0%), Montana (+0.9%), Texas (+0.6%), Delaware (+0.6%), and Oklahoma (+0.6%) led June job percentage gains.
- Texas (+82,500), Tennessee (+32,300), Florida (+30,600), New York (+26,100) and North Carolina (+22,700) led June absolute job growth.
National Job Recovery Trends as of June 2022
- The US lost 22 million jobs from February 2020-April 2020.
- The US is currently 524,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels, a 0.3% net decline since February 2020.
- The US jobless rate (3.6%) nearly matches pre-pandemic lows. Labor participation and employment remain below pre-pandemic levels.
Key Takeaways: The Impact of State Policies on Job Recovery
- Nevada (#15) became the most recent state to surpass its pre-pandemic jobs count. Nevada is now 3,100 jobs above its February 2020 level.
- States that made lighter pandemic lockdowns lead the recovery. Sunbelt and Mountain West states continue to surge beyond their pre-pandemic jobs highs.
- Leading economic states like Utah, Idaho, Montana, Texas, and Florida are characterized by lower taxes, lighter regulations, a lower cost of living, and ongoing efforts at tax and economic reforms to strengthen their economies.
- Lagging states, such as New York, have piled higher taxes and regulations on their economy after extended lockdowns during the pandemic.
Related Reading from the States
Unemployment is at another historic low, but 72,000 workers are still missing from the workforce
New Jersey private jobs back to pre-pandemic levels
Garden State Initiative (New Jersey)
What the June inflation numbers mean for the poor
Georgia Center for Opportunity
June Jobs Report
John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)
Megaproject and government spending can’t hide anemic job growth
Kansas Policy Institute
Illinois adds 18,800 jobs in June, still missing 117,000 from the pandemic
Illinois Policy Institute
Ohio’s job market hits the summer doldrums
The Buckeye Institute