|By PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer|
In May, the overall economy finally recovered all 9 million jobs that vanished in the worst downturn since the 1930s. Another month of solid hiring is expected in the U.S. jobs report for June that will be released Thursday.
Yet 32 states still have fewer jobs than when the recession began in
Even though economists declared the recession over in
The sluggish job market could weigh on voters in some key states when they go to the polls this fall. A
The states where hiring lags the most tend to be those that were hit most painfully by the recession: They lost so many jobs that they've struggled to replace them all.
By contrast, an energy boom has lifted several states to the top of job creation rankings.
Not surprisingly, the capital of
"It was becoming like the Great Depression in
Mark, 40, a laid-off electrician, and Valerie, 37, a corrections officer, immediately found work in
But Mark always had a dream of opening a Mexican restaurant, and
"Business," he said, "is good. Real good."
Another state benefiting from the energy boom is
Moody's White says many states are struggling because the recession wiped out solid middle-class jobs — in manufacturing and construction — that haven't returned. He says it will take a stronger housing recovery to put significantly more people back to work building houses, installing wiring and plumbing and selling furniture and appliances to new owners of homes.
Housing has rebounded somewhat since bottoming a couple of years ago. But the industry's recovery has slowed. Home construction is running at barely half the pace of the early and mid-2000s. And
Factories have added 105,000 jobs over the past year, but manufacturing payrolls remain down 1.6 million, or 12 percent, since the start of the recession. Manufacturing jobs in
AP staff writer
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