America's Undisputed Job Dynamo: Texas

While one may debate the quality (most "growth" coming from part-time jobs) and quantity (most recently questioned by the rather dramatic recent divergence between JOLTS net turnover and payrolls) of reported US jobs, one thing remains a fact: there are still 2.3 million less jobs now than there were at the start of the great depression in December 2007, and half a million fewer jobs than in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman failure. Yet while the inability to catch up to a job picture from over 5 years ago is still true at the consolidated level, the picture is vastly different when broken down by state.

A quick look at job creation on a state by state basis shows some very distinct losers, and one very obvious winner: Texas.

As the following chart, which shows the cumulative job losses since December 2007 or the official start of the recession and depression, demonstrates, while the US still has millions of jobs to make for in the longest-ever "recovery" on record just to catch up to where it was nearly 6 years ago (excluding the increase in the labor force), there is little surprise when it comes to the biggest losers, which happen to be California, Florida and of course Illinois: these combined three states account for 1.2 million, or more than half of all cumulative job losses since the start of the Great Financial Crisis.

And while this trifecta of tribulation is hardly surprising, what may come as shock to some is that over the same period, the states of Texas has not only recouped all its losses, but has gained a total of 633K jobs, putting it firmly in first place in terms of job creation in the US. That most of these new jobs are due to the energy sector is confirmed when looking at that other standout - North Dakota - which like Texas, has gained some 79,300 jobs over the same time period. The final winner among the top three job gaining states: New York, mostly as a function of the FIRE industries roaring back following an unprecedented multi-trillion bail out by the government and the Fed, which continues to this day at a pace of $85 billion per month.


How does the above data look if one shortens the time horizon to only go back to the month following the Lehman failure, or October 2008?

More of the same. While cumulative total job losses are smaller, the three states at the top of job creation continue to be Texas, New York and North Dakota.

And on a snapshot basis: the three successful states, with Texas at the top with +542,000 jobs, have generate on a combined basis some 743K jobs, which is nearly double the total jobs lost over the same time period.

Bottom line: want jobs in a New Normal America? Then focus on finance or energy.

Everyone else gets a government job or is a part-time greeter at WalMart.

And congratulations to Texas. California, Florida and Illinois: not so much.