This is an update to a series of posts I did four years ago, which tried to understand why some states produced jobs and others didn't. At the time, a lot of people pointed to the success of Texas in creating jobs, while California was seen as an example of stagnation.
Texas continues to be one of the leading job creating states in the country. However, California has had a big comeback, and is now doing almost as well as Texas at job creation.
To properly compare states, I have calculated the job growth per 1000 residents from January 2011 to January 2015. Thanks to oil development, North Dakota comes top. Utah and Texas continue to do very well, as they did from 2002 to 2009. Rural southern states like West Virginia and Mississippi continue to bleed jobs, as they have for years. Massachusetts and especially California are the most improved.
The Sunbelt continues to do well, while the Northeast apart from Massachusetts continues to lag. The Midwest has bounced back from the auto industry crisis and bail out.
(Technical notes: Employment data from Department of Labor. Population data from Census Bureau . I am using state populations as of April 2010)