Based on data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, credit-ratings firm Fitch Ratings has released research finding that November marked the first time since the end of the recession that the majority of U.S. states had fully recovered their recessionary job losses. The recovery has varied widely across individual states, as has its impact on state budgets. Some of the states near the bottom of the growth curve will likely continue to see larger budget challenges for the near term. Some near the top are likely to see employment rates slow, making budget decisions during those declines critical, Fitch Ratings say.
Two of the states that have recovered the smallest number of jobs show the variety of impacts. Michigan never fully recovered from the 2001 recession and has only recovered 38 percent of the jobs since its April 2000 peak. New Jersey has recovered less than half of the jobs it lost during the last the recession.
Two of the states with highest employment growth are likely to see some employment slowdown, particularly if the price of oil continues its slide. North Dakota has gained more than 16 times the number of jobs it lost during the recession, while Alaska has recovered more than four times. Alaska and other states have revised their revenue forecasts downward based on the oil price drop.
The U.S. overall has recovered 119 percent of jobs lost since the recession. U.S. employment reached its previous peak in January 2008. The declines ended in February 2010, when the U.S. had lost 6.2 percent of jobs overall.