The History Of US Unemployment By State, And A Surprising Observation

Tyler Durden's picture

The following fascinating chart from Tableausoftware shows the history of US unemployment by state since 1976, and specifically the difference from historical averages. What the chart shows is that as more and more people have migrated to populated coastal areas, or those areas hit hardest from the recent deleveraging mean reversion depression, it is the flyover states, typically considered the least interesting, that are actually performing by far the best, with some places like North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont paradoxically having better relative employment right now than during any time in the past 40 years! As the economy continues to revert to trendline along every possible axis, despite the Fed's persistent efforts to overrule nature, how long until reverse migration kicks in, and all those hopefuls who had trekked to the big coastal cities dreaming of better prospects, leave in disenchantment and head back to where they came from, and just how would that impact the future of US economic and demographic trends?

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Sisyphus's picture


Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Try to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die

BigInJapan's picture

Yes, but as with many other bands, cool only until the heroin stopped.

AldousHuxley's picture

direct link


when college degree costs twice as much and you get paid the same 1990s wages during 9% unemployment, you have been made a wage slave.

GMadScientist's picture

In God We Trust (All Other Pay Cash)

Raymond Reason's picture

You're a slave to money then you die...

and then you go to hell. 

TruthHunter's picture

So why does Virginia look so good?  Runaway government hiring?

CaptFufflePants's picture

Mentioning North Dakota and leaving out the fact of the oil boom in the last 5 years is disingenuous at best.

MsCreant's picture

The chart is not about oil, or anything else. If you want to cross correlate each state's employment distance (up/down) from the national employment average with "oil booms" or other economic variables that you would like to define, have at it and create that chart for us, please.

augustusgloop's picture

Disagree. You can ask the question, then look up the statistics. One can eyeball the chart and discern:

North Dakota employment boom = Bakken Shale. Eg this headline. Halliburton to add 11,000 jobs, mostly in ND. Small population, new oil drilling technique = high employement.

Nevada, AZ, California, and 1st derivative housing boom states (Californians finding cheap housing in PNW) OR, WA: Greenspan housing bubble & subsequent burst. 

MI: Constant leaking of manufacturing Jobs

Carolinas: Housing boom / bust + Manufacturing job first boom (lower wages, non-union) then bust (worldwide depression)

Vermont: Yankees rule! 

New York: Would probably correlate to Financial company earnings growth as a % of total corporate earnings.

& cetera. 

MsCreant's picture

It is fine and good to pick variables and look them up for each of the states. My point is that the author of the blurb above the chart is not "disingenuous" because they failed to mention oil. The chart is the chart, do what you will next (like you did). But you can't have a chart that "explains why each state had a boom." The housing industry would be a good one to try and track though...

sgt_doom's picture

This chart is highly suspect as it is the product of Tableau software:

they are the worms and cretins who pulled their license from Wikileaks after the slightest pressure from the Americanski government awhile back, remember?

Can't trust such douchetards, ever!


Shocker's picture

Every place is getting affected one way or another. Yes there are selected area that are having growth but overall the downward trend is the same.

Check below for a quick reference for Layoffs, Closing, Bankruptcies..



FEDbuster's picture

Kalifornia could have a oil boom, if they allowed drilling.  They could reclaim ag jobs, if they allowed farmers to have water.  etc......

High taxation will drive many from the coasts.  Those whom can earn a living via the computer, will find places to live with lower cost of living and tax structures.  The reverse migration has already started.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Would that be the same water coming down the Colorado?  Why don't the farmers upstream get to have the water?

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

People upstream don't get the water because not many people are living there in the first place. Those who are there do gain access to the Colorado, but don't use much due to low demand.

Marginal Call's picture

They don't farm upstream for two primary reasons:  elevation & soil.  The temperature swings are too extreme for most crops and the growing season too short.  And the ground is solid rock.

BurningFuld's picture

The water table in Kalifornia is going down down down from decades of pumping. That simple. Divert the Columbia and be done with it.

prodigious_idea's picture

We'll give you the benefit of a doubt that you're not arrogant.  That leaves use with the certainty that you don't understand much about water rights, agriculture or hydroelectric power.

Problem Is's picture

Or where the fuck the Columbia River and California are...

Spastica Rex's picture

Fuck you.


Washington State

Offthebeach's picture

Every western county has a water commioner, and all water is assigned. You could have a drought in Colorado and water ina
River passes you by because it is LA's water.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I remember reading somewhere that 10% of BC Canada's water is "sent" to So Cal, guaranteed by NAFTA.  Can't find a link to that, but this is of interest,

Any time an American company uses Canadian water, NAFTA guarantees their rights to uninterrupted use. Be it an American petroleum company injecting water into the ground to extract the last 10-15% of oil and gas in Canada's oilpatch (water flooding), an American firm involved in managing the water supplies of a Canadian municipality through a public-private-partnership, an American firm using Canadian water for hydroelectric generation, an American firm extracting and bottling groundwater, an American firm using water in its manufacturing processes, any time an American firm accesses Canada's water for a commercial reason, their NAFTA rights are clear (and clearly superior to those of Canadians): Continuity of use. Proportional sharing. No price discrimination. No interruption of normal channels of supply. National treatment. Oh yes, and of course Chapter 11 - the right to compensation from the Canadian government for lost profits if any of these rights are denied.

nationstate boundaries. . . imaginary, enforced by those who profit from their. . . taxed herds.

FEDbuster's picture

Some comes from the Colorado, but the water I was thinking of comes from N. CA and the Sierra Nevadas.  Remeber Pelosi had to save the Delta Smelt?

Marginal Call's picture

Farming is going mechanized.  Not a growth industry for jobs.  And where is this extra water you speak of?  California has primacy over the entire south west when it comes to water rights--that alone should tell you to get the hell out of Phoenix.  Because the west is going dry and California has first dibs on whats left. 


Those can earn a living via computer, will choose the nicest place they like that they can afford.  The reverse migration has been from poor states poaching companies from rich states.  Micro outsourcing if you will.  South Carolina had no business building airplanes until they convinced Boeing they had a large enough labor for ready to be exploited.  Taking a page right out of China's playbook.


I'm all in favor of taking away federal funds from states who's growth model is stealing form other states.   The rest of the growth comes from resource extraction.  Works for a while, until it doesn't. 

Lednbrass's picture

Oh boo fucking hoo- you want to force companies to remain in states that tax and unionize their businesses out of profitability? You actually prefer they go bankrupt and out of business entirely?

Evidently so, what a great fukcing plan. Boeing needed more planes built, far better to force them to pump more resources into a high cost state instead of building antoher facility where they can make a better go of it.

What an utter statist dick. How does one state have more or less business building airplanes than another- who decides that? Pointy headed urban tards like you I suppose?

cbxer55's picture

Boeing just moved a facility dealing with the B-1B Bombers from Kalipornia to Oklahoma due to the unfriendly business environment in CA. CAs loss is OKs gain. 500 jobs lost in CA, 500 gained in OK. 

Me Likey.  ;-)

And look what state is at the bottom of the list, #50.

Marginal Call's picture

Statist?  Try protectionist.  Like the whole country used to be before it was cool to buy off the government, send all the jobs overseas and siphon off all the profits.  And transfer all our technology to China. 


You know who decides who builds planes?  People who know how to fucking build planes and who they share their knowledge with.  William Edward Boeing is spinning in his grave. 

Vendetta's picture

If aerospace wasn't export controlled we wouldn't be building any aircraft in this country.  In the Carolinas, Oklahoma, or Washington state or whereever.  When the textile quota's with China were eliminated in Jan 2004, 14 textile plants and 18,000 people lost their jobs as the textile plants left the country .... in a mere 4 months.  All of those plants were in 'business friendly states'.  So how did those 'business friendly states" regulation/laws, or more accurately lack of, help those innocent 18,000 southern folks who lost their jobs?  Answer: it didn't mean squat.  While the political division is used to have people point their fingers at each other instead of our horrific trade policies, the money power hollows out the country.  Even 'business friendly states' can't compete with 10 cent an hour labor... until they're making 10 cents an hour.

Cathartes Aura's picture

it's "business friendly NATIONstates" - the corporatism that expands irrespective of imaginary lines drawn for tax farming by elites has no need for boundaries - their "charters" are global, and if you follow the history of corporate expansion, this has always been the notion.

augustusgloop's picture

Hardy guffaw every time I hear ultra free market type people saying "the farmers allowed water" when the entire infrastructure of California is essentially one big Fed - State planning public work. Ayn Rand would piss on it. They don't call it the Edmund G. Brown Acqeduct for nothing. 

All American Acqueduct (from Colorado River to Southern Cal) is a Bureau of reclamation / Fed project associate with Hoover Dam. 

Water rights are F'd. The Resnicks (Pom / Roll International) essentially bought all the Southern San Joaquin Valley for pennnies and get California Tax Payer subsidized water for their water guzzling Pomegranite & fruit tree orchards (much worse than cotton which was there before--cotton can go fallow in drought years).

Agree with the taxation issues though. 

Offthebeach's picture

New Englanders are stealing mid-West wheat via fedgov railroads and roads.

Stop the food thieft now!


RockyRacoon's picture

What I find interesting, Missy, is that China has followed the same course but done it at break-neck speed.  All we have to do is watch how China devolves and we'll have the pattern.   There is nothing on the horizon to stop the pattern's evolution.   Certainly not "growth".

MsCreant's picture

I hope you are wrong, but fear you are right. Culture matters and that could make the difference (though it is asking a lot to ask American's to "see the light" and slow things down).

goldfish1's picture

You point to a headline about Halliburton to be adding jobs. It's dated August 2011, about ten months ago.

That's your basis for saying the change in the unemployment rate in North Dakota is due to Bakken Shale? If you look closely, employment declines after the date of the article, so...

your point is?

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Those states must be racist. Too many % of White people. /sarc

Uncle Remus's picture

Actually, I have it on good authority it's due to the unprecedented rise in popularity of the Corn Palace and Wall Drug plus the rumored bust of Obama being added to Mt. Rushmore - all in S. Dakota - so It's natural there'd be a bit of overhang into border states.

Americana, bitchez.

aerojet's picture

Okay, downvoted to hell for the obvious comment.  How about this?  People working in NoDak make like $15/hr., but they work ungodly 80-90hr. weeks.  You do what you have to do to get ahead, and I'm all for that, but it's like the end of the world for those types of folks.  There really is no next big thing for them.  I hope they're saving as much of that income as possible, but I know better.

El Oregonian's picture

What the hell, I'm getting sea sick?

sabra1's picture

nothin' agenda 21 can't fix!

Vic Vinegar's picture

I don't think the post-Agenda 21 map that patriot sites love to roll out is going to become reality anytime soon.  There's lots of natural reasources in states like the Dakotas and lots of good people too.  Not a bad place to call home.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

is someone assuming reverse migration isn't already happening?

why take a simple stupid report and turn it into something which makes little sense?

people can go where they wish, can't they?

people DO move b/c they are disenchanted, though.  fuking brilliant there!

perhaps getting everyone on the edge of their seats over what will happen NEXT needs to take a little pill?

Skateboarder's picture

Like the little waves of people who move from one state to another because of gas price increases and local housing bubbles and stuff.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

when this law passed A Brief History Of New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws - TIME  slewie decided to get outa NY;  many adventures and a coupla years later:  berkeley  and norCal

over 35 years later, this is still the place for me

but many are leaving;  people go elsewhere to retire, i think;  we have tons of law enforcement who put in their time, get their pensions, and head to idaho/montana and eastern oregon;  they just want their nice, fat checks, a ranch, and a gun rack for the new truck

people get their VA disabilities approved and suddenly never need the VA again;  off they go...

once in the late 70's i was hangin w/ a friend in SF and we went to pick up his 2 y.o. from pre-school;  nice day, nice playground, kids climbing all over the place;  he sez:  do you notice anything different here (from across the Bay)?  i couldn't figure out what he was getting at.  finally he says:  she's the only white caucasian here...  i didn't think you'd notice...

sometimes people visit and it actually frightens them that parts of america are "like this";  i've had to intervene to keep people from going to hawaii!  L0L!!!

VallejoVillain's picture

Berkeley huh. Great weather.....................................and hippies..........................aaannnddd chicks with armpit muff. hehe

Cathartes Aura's picture

. . . and men who aren't interested in "chicks" at all. . . isn't that what SF is long-time famous for?

weird you left that out.

I hear chicks who don't shave themselves to pre-pubescent status weed out the undesirable males, seems plausible.

Lord Koos's picture

The chart isn't about population, it's about employment.  Pretty simple, isn't it -- on the coasts, it's now more people competing for less work, in the middle of the country, it's the opposite. 

LULZBank's picture

Aliens are trying to fuck with our heads.