From Morris News Service –
A new report ranks Georgia, Florida and South Carolina among the best performing states in terms of economic momentum, outpacing both the rest of the country and other states in the South.
The Index of State Economic Momentum released Thursday is compiled by Federal Funds Information for States, a Washington-based clearinghouse for policymakers.
“Regional trends are apparent. States atop the list are located almost exclusively in the West and South, while those at the bottom are located in the Midwest, South and Northeast,” the authors noted. “No northeastern state exceeded the national average economic performance.”
The index is based on each state’s growth in employment, population and personal income.
Topping the index were energy-boom states like North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Colorado. Also among the top ranks are trendy Washington, Oregon and again Colorado that are benefitting from perceptions among young adults that they are more accepting of liberal lifestyles.
The Peach State ranked eighth on the index. It’s robust 3.8 percent job growth over the last 12 months ending in February make it the third-fastest hiring state, behind only Utah and North Dakota, which have much smaller populations.
Interestingly, Georgia’s unemployment rate appears comparatively gloomy, but then it’s one of four states in the top 10 of the index that also have unemployment rates worse than the national average. Economists say that’s because people are moving to those states to find work, and the hiring rate shows they are succeeding.
In terms of population growth, Georgia’s 1.03 percent expansion placed it 14th. Personal income grew 5.2 percent, making it the 10th fastest and the best large, non-energy producing state.
Florida’s No. 9 ranking on the index comes thanks to a 3.5 percent hiring pace that’s fourth best in the nation behind Georgia. Personal income grew in the Sunshine State 5 percent, or 13th fastest in the U.S., while people continue to flock to work or retire there, with a 1.5 percent expansion rate that’s sixth highest in the country.
The Palmetto State came in at 10th place in the index, the same spot it holds for population growth with a 1.3 percent yearly increase. The state places ninth for employment growth, with a 3.3 percent rate, and 14th for personal income improvement with a 5 percent annual change.
Index of Economic Momentum
Here are the top 10 states in an index that combines growth in employment, population and personal income.
1. North Dakota
10. South Carolina
Source: Federal Funds Information for States