10 States With The Largest Job Gaps: Brookings Institute

09/02/2011 04:48 pm ET | Updated Nov 02, 2011

With the American economy years away from returning to pre-recession employment levels, Friday's news that the country failed to add any jobs at all in August is cause for concern, to put it lightly. Some states, in particular, have a very long way to go.

In order to return employment back to pre-recession levels, the U.S. now needs to create 12.4 million jobs. That's 180,000 more than just last month, and that number will only go up as the population continues to grow, according to the Brookings Insitute's Hamilton Project.

Certain states dependent on hard-hit industries such as construction will have to generate even more jobs to get back to the pre-recession days. California, for example, was largely intertwined with the manufacturing and construction sectors, and is not coincidentally the state with the largest jobs gap. Currently, the Golden State needs almost 2 million jobs to get back to pre-recession levels of employment. Compare that to North Dakota, the state with smallest jobs gap, which needs only 7,000.

With Obama's jobs speech just around the corner, The Hamilton Project estimates that it would take twelve and a half years to reach pre-recession employment levels assuming the country started creating jobs at the same rate during the best job-growth years of the 2000s. In other words, this problem will be with the country from some time yet.

Here are the top ten states with the biggest job gaps, according to the Hamilton Project:

10 states with the widest jobs gaps
Suggest a correction