10 States With the Fastest Job Growth in 2016

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Looking for a job? A vibrant economy in which to launch your new business? A new market for your firm’s next expansion? The Kiplinger Letter’s annual state economic outlooks help job-seekers, entrepreneurs and business executives get ahead of shifts in job creation and GDP in different markets around the country.

The following 10 states are likely to see the fastest employment gains this year, from 2.7% to 3.5%, all topping the national average of 1.8%. Not all will see the highest numbers of new jobs, an honor that almost always goes to the most populous states, even if their rate of growth is slower. That’s the case this year with Texas. But three large states — California, Florida and Georgia — will be among the 10 fastest-growing and the five with the biggest gains. Northeastern and Midwestern states will see the least growth.

Meanwhile, look for unemployment rates to decline in almost all the states. The U.S. unemployment rate, as of May, was 4.7%.


States are ranked by projected job growth in 2016, beginning with the fastest-growing. Population figures are from 2015.

David Payne
Staff Economist, The Kiplinger Letter

David is both staff economist and reporter for The Kiplinger Letter, overseeing Kiplinger forecasts for the U.S. and world economies. Previously, he was senior principal economist in the Center for Forecasting and Modeling at IHS/GlobalInsight, and an economist in the Chief Economist's Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce. David has co-written weekly reports on economic conditions since 1992, and has forecasted GDP and its components since 1995, beating the Blue Chip Indicators forecasts two-thirds of the time. David is a Certified Business Economist as recognized by the National Association for Business Economics. He has two master's degrees and is ABD in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.