State sees 0.70 percent uptick in employment
Pennsylvania welcomed 40,000 new jobs in 2014—a 0.70 percent rise in employment.
However, the Keystone State was not among more than a dozen states that added at least 50,000 jobs last year. Texas led the nation, creating 417,000 jobs, according to a Stateline analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released in December. North Dakota, fueled by an oil and gas boom, ranked first in job growth percentage, adding 22,000 new jobs, a total 4.8 percent improvement in unemployment.
The final 2014 data, which could be revised, is expected to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this month. See which industries contributed to the gains here.
Overall, the national increase in employment—almost every state added jobs—was reflected in NFIB’s most recent Small Business Optimism Index, released in January and based on December data. Up 2.3 percentage points to 100.4, the index is finally approaching pre-Great Recession levels, says Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist.
“The Index showed strength in November but most of the gains were confined to just two categories,” Dunkelberg says. “The December Index shows much broader strength led by a significant increase in the number of owners who expect higher sales. This could be a breakout for small business. There’s no question that small business owners are feeling better about the economy. If they continue to feel that way 2015 could be a very good year.”