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SPPI Employment Index: October-March

The American Southwest’s jobs boom continues.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released state-level data for March on Friday, and the results for our region weren’t good. They were great.

All eight of the American Southwest’s states experienced net job growth between February and March, with Texas and Utah, unsurprisingly, leading the way.

The unemployment numbers remain encouraging, with two exceptions. Utah is still a national star, at 2.4 percent. Colorado (2.8 percent) and Oklahoma (3.0) bested the national mark as well. Arizona and New Mexico tied the U.S. figure of 3.5 percent. Texas (4.0 percent) has room for improvement. California (4.5 percent) again found itself in the bottom ten, with Nevada, depressingly, at rock-bottom 5.5 percent.

A final word about job-creation: Six of our eight states have enjoyed six straight months of growth. It’s doubtful another region of the country can claim that kind of strength. Let’s keep the momentum going.

By D. Dowd Muska

Dowd brings nearly 30 years of research and writing experience to the Institute. A veteran of several think tanks, he is an expert on government at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

Raised on an apple orchard in the Connecticut River Valley, D. Dowd Muska is a researcher, writer, editor, and commentator. His focus is the nexus of fiscal policy, economic development, and technology.

Mr. Muska is the author of numerous policy studies, and his writing has appeared in newspapers throughout the nation, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Detroit News, the Orlando Sentinel, the Cape Cod Times, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Hartford Courant, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Albuquerque Journal, the New Haven Register, and The Oklahoman. A graduate of The George Washington University, he lives in the Albuquerque metro area, but has started (very) early planning for a relocation to the Sierra Blanca in Lincoln County, New Mexico. He recently launched the Substack platform No Dowd About It.

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