According to Gallup’s annual ranking of state job markets in 2014, North Dakota residents reported more hiring and less firing activity than any other state in the union. Connecticut, on the other hand, came in at the bottom of Gallup’s rankings, with residents reporting less hiring and more firing in 2014 than any other state.

A solid 48% of workers in North Dakota in 2014 responded that their employer is hiring, and a mere 12% reported that their employer is terminating workers, resulting in a +36 Job Creation Index score. However, in Connecticut, 33% of workers responded to the survey that their employer is hiring and 17% said their boss is letting people go.

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Of note, the survey uses survey data taken throughout the year, so it does not necessarily reflect the recent drop off in employment in North Dakota due to the the collapse in oil prices.

One important note in the 2014 state job market rankings is that all 50 states now have positive net hiring scores. Moreover, every state except West Virginia, Alaska and New Mexico have improved their score since these rankings hit their low point in 2009.

Gallup Job Creation Index methodology

Gallup uses survey reports from full- and part-time workers regarding whether their employer is hiring and expanding the size of its workforce, not hiring or firing, or reducing its workforce.

The 2014 state-level findings are drawn from 201,254 interviews with employed adults nationwide conducted throughout the year.

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Energy producers and farm states (like North Dakota) top the 2014 rankings

Other states where workers reported net hiring include Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota. Gallup analyst Lydia Saad notes that all of these states rely on either the energy sector or farming (or both).

Michigan’s strong score is one of the biggest turnarounds of any state in the seven years Gallup has undertaken this job creation poll. Saad points out that: “Michigan was among the worst-performing states in 2008 and 2009, but with significant improvements in that state’s economy, it rose to about average net hiring in 2010, and has ranked among the top-performing states in each of the past two years.”

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Delaware has also put in a strong performance, going from one of the lowest-ranking states in 2009 to a  top-ranking state in both 2013 and 2014. Of note, Delaware holds the distinction of being the only state on the Eastern seaboard to crack the top 10.

In an interesting aside, of the 13 states with the best job creation scores in 2014, over half share a border with at least one other state on the list. Only Utah and Delaware are not adjacent to at least one other strong job creation state..

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