Gallup Index Sheds Light on Best U.S. States for Job Creation

The results of the Gallup 2015 Job Creation Index revealed the best states for job creation in the U.S.

Minnesota was the top state for job creation with the highest index score of 38, surpassing the national average rating of 30. The rating was calculated based on the percentage of employers hiring new workers compared to the percentage of employers laying workers off. Some 46 percent of working people in the state reported that their company was hiring and just 8 percent said that their employer was letting workers go. 

Industry growth
The North Star State added more than 40,000 jobs and had a 3.5 percent unemployment rate, Gallup reported. The most jobs were added in education and health, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,873,700 jobs in the state in December 2015 and 9,100 jobs were added. During the month, there were a total of 514,200 jobs in education and health services in the state, marking a 2.5 percent change over the year; there were 268,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality, a 4.4 percent change over the year; and there were 368,500 jobs in professional and business services, a 3 percent change over the year.  

The rankings
Minnesota placed in the top 10 of the Gallup index in 2012 and 2013, while Nebraska and North Dakota have both consistently ranked in the top 10 in the eight years that the index has been compiled.

Following Minnesota in the rankings were Georgia and Utah, both with a 36 rating, and Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada and Oregon, all ranking at 35. Rounding out the top 10 were Wisconsin and North Dakota and five states that had a 33 rating: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Washington.

Nevada had the highest growth in job creation in 2015, posting a 13-point increase from 2014. Minnesota had a 10-point increase while Maine, Kentucky and Tennessee had 9-point increases.

Alaska had the lowest rating in the index, registering at 12, six points lower than the second-lowest-ranking state, West Virginia. According to Gallup, 31 percent of working people in Alaska said their employers were hiring workers, while 19 percent said their employers were laying people off.

Connecticut ranked fourth in the bottom 10, and has consistently ranked in the lowest 10 states throughout the eight years of the Gallup survey.

Energy production pitfalls
While the source stated that there were no obvious regional trends in the data, many of the bottom 10 states have economies that are largely driven by energy production.

The oil industry has been particularly hard hit in recent years, and has experienced its largest fall since the 1990s, according to The New York Times. The price of oil dropped by more than 60 percent since June 2014, and some 250,000 oil workers were estimated to have lost their jobs.

Gallup noted that North Dakota, which has been supported by the energy industry, dropped from first place in the index but remained in the top 10 in 2015.