Economic growth across the country varies by several factors, including demographics, education, weather, and industry. The first quarter of 2019 saw an increase in GDP of 3.2% nationwide, yet certain states realized a much stronger growth than others. West Virginia topped every other state in the first quarter, with a 5.2% growth rate. Texas, New Mexico and Utah also saw greater than average growth over the same period.
Some states, such as Texas, continue to experience a large influx of new residents from other states such as California. Texas offers more affordable housing, ample jobs, and no state income tax relative to California. Skilled and qualified workers are essential to fill various job openings, where certain industries seek particular skillsets from workers. Texas has also seen a tremendous demand for oil industry workers as the oil sector in the state has expanded because of shale drilling.
States with older populations and less qualified workers are seeing less growth and even an exodus of people. New Jersey, Maryland, Mississippi and Hawaii were among the slowest growth states in the first quarter, where demographics and cost of living influence the local economies more than other states.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
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