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Eight States Where Companies Are Hiring: 24/7 Wall St.

24/7 Wall St.     First Posted: 02/10/2012 8:25 am   Updated: 02/10/2012 8:25 am

From 24/7 Wall St.: Companies across the country are hiring more workers, at least if you ask their employees. In 2011, 31 percent of U.S. workers reported that their employers were hiring, according to Gallup's Job Creation Index. Only 18 percent said that their employers were laying workers off. Of course, residents of some states report much higher rates of job creation than others. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Gallup Index, as well as a number of other economic indicators, and identified the eight states where residents think companies are hiring most.

Read The Eight States Where Companies Are Hiring

To develop the Job Creation Index, Gallup asked those surveyed whether companies are hiring or letting employees go. While the national score reflects that most states believe employers are hiring, 24/7 Wall St.'s analysis suggests that self-reporting by workers may not perfectly align with reality.

These states are not experiencing the greatest recoveries -- including in employment -- as they have little to recover from. The states' strong economies may be affecting their residents' perception of the economy. Five of the eight states on this list are among the top nine states on another recent Gallup poll ranking states' confidence in the national economy. Those who live in states that are doing well see the entire country as doing well.

The majority of states where high percentages of workers reported job creation also have extremely low unemployment rates to begin with. Six of the eight states have among the 10 lowest unemployment rates in the country. North Dakota, the state where the largest share of workers reported that their employers are hiring, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

And while unemployment rates are low, the majority of these states have had relatively low unemployment rates for some time. Most did not have particularly impressive improvements in unemployment last year. Other than Utah and West Virginia -- the only states with exceptionally large drops in unemployment -- the rest have had low unemployment rates since 2006 and throughout the recession.

Housing markets in most of the states where respondents believe jobs are plentiful also have been stable. Seven of the eight states on the list are among the 15 markets that suffered the least from the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011. Five of the states actually experienced increases in home prices over this period.

These are the eight states where workers say companies are hiring, according to 24/7 Wall St.:

8. South Dakota
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Job creation index: 19 (tied for 6th highest)
Unemployment rate (Dec. 2011): 4.2 percent (3rd lowest)
Change in unemployment (Dec. 2010 - Dec. 2011): -10.6 percent
Change in home prices (2006 Q3 - 2011 Q3): 4.4 percent (2nd largest increase)

Throughout the recession, few state economies have been as healthy as that of South Dakota. Home prices in the state actually increased 4.4 percent, the second-highest increase, after only North Dakota. Unemployment in the state has also been extremely low. Even when the national unemployment rate hit 10 percent for the first time in decades in October 2009, South Dakota's was just 5 percent. As of December 2011, the unemployment rate was just 4.3 percent, the third-lowest in the country. Only 12.6 percent of workers surveyed said their employers were letting people go, compared to a national rate of 18.4 percent.

Read more at 24/7 Wall St.
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Filed by Harry Bradford  |