NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – Booming States
Although the nation has been in an economic recovery for over three years, not all states have improved at the same rate. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden considers whether there are some common elements of a state’s economy that seem to have helped.
“If you look at a map or can visualize a map of the United States and you look at states in terms of how fast they have recovered from the recession, what you see it’s really states in the middle of the country, the Plains states, plus states like Texas and Oklahoma, that have done the best.
“And so when you try to bore through that and try to find some statistical relationships, what you find is that states that are big farm states, number one, and states that are big energy-producing states, number two, have really done the best in terms of economic growth in recent years.
“Now farming states have benefitted because farm prices have been very high, very good, and obviously energy-producing states have benefitted because that’s a rather new, growing industry that’s producing jobs and income.
“Now another industry that has had a good rebound has been the financial services sector industry. The states that have a bigger concentration of that industry have grown faster. And North Carolina would be in that category.
“And then lastly, the research finds that states that have gotten a bigger chunk relative to their size of federal stimulus money actually had faster growth over the last three years.”