Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thanks to the Oil and Gas Boom, ND, AK and TX Have Regained All Jobs Lost During Recession

Despite the gradual improvements in the U.S. labor market and the 8.5% jobless rate for December, the payroll employment level of 131.9 million jobs in December is still more than six million jobs below the 137.9 million peak level when the recession started in December 2007.  In percentage terms, December payrolls were 4.5% below the December 2007 level, see the chart above.

In contrast to the ongoing "jobless recovery" at the national level, there are three states that have now regained all of the jobs lost during the recession: North Dakota, Alaska and Texas (see chart above).  What do these three states have in common? They are all oil and gas rich, and have been adding thousands of mining and natural resources jobs over the last several years (12,000 in North Dakota, 2,200 in Alaska and 66,600 in Texas) to keep up with the increased domestic production of energy resources, mostly for shale gas and oil.   
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