New York Times (05/21/12) Shaila Dewan
Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, and North Dakota have returned to their peak prerecession employment levels, according to a new analysis by the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight. The report predicts that 16 states will regain peak employment by the end of next year, and that all but eight will do so by the end of 2015. Nevada, Michigan, and Rhode Island are expected to be the laggards, not achieving peak employment until after 2017. “The states in the middle of the country have benefited from not being exposed to the housing boom and bust and also have gotten a kick from strong oil and gas demand,” says Jim Diffley, the chief regional economist at IHS.