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Five States That Will Drive the U.S. Recovery

July 23, 2009 by Luke Mason

Which parts of the United States will recover most rapidly from the drawn-out recession? Moody’s Economy.com has released a study that estimates the strongest future job growth will come in Colorado, Texas and three Northwest states: Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

In the case of the northwestern states, the reason they got picked is because of their high concentration of high-tech companies, Moody’s economist Andrew Gledhill said. Analysts expect a pick-up in tech spending as the recession gets going.

“[W]e feel that pent-up demand for high-tech equipment that has been furthered in part by the financial crisis could benefit states with these kinds of links,” Gledhill said.

Here at EMSI, we decided to take a look at short-term projections from our latest dataset (released in June) for the five states mentioned to see what the numbers indicate. Below is national county-level industry data for each state at the 2-digit NAICS level.

Click on the tables for a bigger image

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Some observations:

  • The states that fare best in terms of total growth are Idaho and Colorado. Both are projected to see 4% job expansion through 2010 — that’s twice what’s projected for the national growth rate for this time period.
  • Two industries with minimal or negative growth across the board are Utilities and Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. Colorado is the only state where the latter is projected to grow, albeit at a meager 1% clip.
  • One sector that looks to see some nice growth is Administrative and waste services — which includes many so-called middle-skill occupations.

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