State Employment Recovered Unevenly from Last Recession

Brian Skinner State Fiscal & Economic Policy


Pew – Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis – August 20, 2020

Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the economy, much of the country had enjoyed years of slow but steady job growth over the longest recovery on record. The U.S. employment rate for prime-working-age adults finally recovered in 2019 from losses in the Great Recession. But rates in about half of states still fell short on the eve of the current downturn, leaving some at an economic disadvantage.

States experiencing the top gains from pre-Great Recession rates were: Michigan (3.4 points); New Jersey (2.4 points); Massachusetts (2.2 points); West Virginia (2 points); Connecticut (1.9 points); Maine (1.5 points); Maryland (1.4 points); and Colorado and New Hampshire (both 1.3 points). The increase was statistically significant in only Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey.

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