Economic Recovery: Which States Are Bouncing Back Fastest?

People ride bicycles along the street in Stockton, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 14, 2012. The city may have to decide next week whether to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection if talks with creditors that end on June 25 don't yield concessions. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released an analysis of which states have done the best at recovering jobs lost in the 2008 recession and which are still struggling. On the surface, there doesn't seem to be a consistent trend: some red states, like Texas, are doing well; others, like Arizona, are lagging behind. Conversely, some blue states, like New York, have recovered nicely; others, like California, are still among the worst hit.

The Federal Reserve notes that a few factors seem to be at play: manufacturing-heavy states are still hurting, as are states that had a big real estate boom. On the other hand, as The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann noted, resource-rich states like North Dakota seem to have had a softer landing.

Economic improvement
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Moody's

Ultimately, though, there are two clear takeaways: first, things are looking up a bit if you live in Texas, West Virginia, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Utah. And things are looking down if you're in California, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Delaware, Connecticut or Rhode Island.

Job loss and bounce-back
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Moody's

The second takeaway is not quite as clear but even more significant: Unlike the 1990 recession, recovery from this one is almost universally anemic. In other words, while some of us have it better than others, the whole country is still hurting.


Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

Originally published