Montana Plummets in Economic-Strength Rankings

By Beacon Staff

Montana’s economy has weakened substantially over the last year – even when compared to the rest of the country – according to a study of employment trends compiled by Portfolio.com and biz journals. In 2009, the same midyear report ranked this state’s economy the ninth strongest in the country. This year, Montana has fallen all the way to 28th.

Other state economies – specifically Nevada, California and Florida – have fallen even harder. In fact, Nevada has plummeted from first to dead last in the rankings in just five years. From Portfolio.com:

Several factors have turned the three leaders into laggards during the past five years, notably the deflation of their hyperexpanded real estate bubbles and a sharp downturn in tourism.

Nevada, California, and Florida have collectively lost 1.69 million jobs since 2005. All are currently saddled with double-digit unemployment rates, with Nevada the worst at 14.0 percent.

The report also measures private-sector job growth over the last five years. Montana added a miniscule 1,400 jobs during that period and has lost 5,800 jobs since 2009.

Here’s the best state economies, according to the report:
North Dakota
South Dakota
District of Columbia

And the worst:
Rhode Island

See all the rankings here (.pdf)