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SPN State Jobs Report

SPN's State Jobs Report tracks states' progress in post-pandemic job recovery.

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

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

State Job Recovery Trends

  • South Dakota (+0.6%), Massachusetts (+0.6%), Maine (+0.6%), New Hampshire (+0.5%), and New Jersey (+0.4%) led March job growth in percentage gains.
  • California (+60,300), Texas (+30,100), New York (+28,100), Massachusetts (+21,000) and Ohio (+18,300) had the most March job creation in absolute terms.

National Job Recovery Trends

  • The United States lost 22 million jobs from February 2020-April 2020.
  • The United States is currently 1.6 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, a 1.0% net decline in February 2020.

How is state policy impacting job recovery?

  • South Dakota and Indiana became the twelfth and thirteenth states to exceed their pre-pandemic jobs count in March 2022.
  • States that have crossed the jobs recovery finish line embrace policies that attract families and businesses, including a lighter approach during the pandemic, lower taxes, fewer economic restrictions, and a lower cost of living.
  • State tax competition is especially fierce in the new era of remote work. In addition, taxpayers cannot write off their state and local taxes against their federal returns.
  • Recovery drags on slowly in states that imposed harsh pandemic restrictions and have high tax and regulatory burdens, especially states like New York that raised taxes during the pandemic.

Compare to the Previous Month:
50-State Rankings for February 2020-February 2022

State Job Recovery Trends as of February 2022

  • Nebraska (+1.2%), Washington (+0.9%), Wyoming (+0.9%), New Hampshire (+0.8%), and South Carolina (+0.8%) led February job growth in percentage gains.
  • California (+138,100), Texas (+77,800), Florida (+51,000), Pennsylvania (+34,400), and Washington (+31,700) had the most absolute job creation in February.

National Job Recovery Trends as of February 2022

  • The US lost 22 million jobs from February 2020-April 2020.
  • The US is currently 2.1 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, a 1.4% net decline.

How is state policy impacting job recovery?

  • State recovery leaders impose fewer economic restrictions, lower taxes, and embrace policies that attract families and businesses.
  • Idaho, Montana, Arkansas, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Colorado each cut taxes or spending in 2021. Tennessee cut taxes in 2022.
  • Colorado became the eleventh state to exceed its pre-pandemic jobs count in February 2022.
  • Uncompetitive states face heightened competition for workers and businesses in the new era of remote work.
  • Large states like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois are suffering through an unnecessarily slow labor market recovery.
  • Dozens of states are considering tax cuts in 2022 to increase their competitiveness for attracting mobile businesses and remote workers.

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

State Job Recovery Trends

  • Kansas (+0.6%), Maine (+0.6%), Idaho (+0.5%), Utah (+0.5%), and South Carolina (+0.5%) led January 2022 percentage job growth.
  • California (+53,600) and New York (+36,800) had the most job creation in January, followed by Texas (+29,000) and Florida (+25,300).

National Job Recovery Trends

  • The US lost 22 million jobs from February 2020-April 2020.
  • Leisure and hospitality, the hardest hit sector, lost 8.2 million jobs.
  • The US is currently 2.1 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, a 1.4% net decline.

Understanding the Impact of State Policies on Job Recovery

  • Annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revisions show that the jobs recovery was previously underestimated across states, particularly in large states like California, Florida, and New York.
  • Ten states exceed their pre-pandemic job counts. All ten states embrace economic freedom policies.
  • Idaho, Montana, Arkansas, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona each cut taxes and spending in 2021.
  • States like New York that imposed more pandemic restrictions and increased taxes continue to underperform in economic recovery.
  • Fewer economic restrictions, lower taxes, and common-sense regulations have resulted in stronger recoveries and more economic opportunity.
  • Dozens of states are considering tax cuts in 2022 which will increase their competitiveness for businesses and remote workers.

SPN State Economic Recovery Toolkit

Policy Toolkit: State Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented economic shock in 2020, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of families, entrepreneurs, and local businesses. This toolkit includes 11 policy solutions states can implement to overcome the economic fallout of the pandemic, protect businesses, recover jobs, and put families and communities back on the path to hope and prosperity.

SPN State Jobs Report Archive

The data for SPN’s Jobs Report series comes from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.