According to a recent story in USA Today.com, 7 out of 10 of the states anticipated to see the fastest rate of job growth this year will be in the West. This has been forecast by IHS Global Insight who sees these states as benefiting from gains in energy, technology and tourism industries, and a stronger housing recovery.
In 2013 the states that saw the most rapid payroll increases were Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and North Dakota. In the decades following World War II the West saw significant job and population growth, but during the last few years many of these states were much harder hit by the housing crisis and recovery was slower. Now it looks as if states that were particularly badly hit, including Nevada and Arizona, have managed to work through most of the foreclosures. As a result the rate of residential construction is growing sharply, creating thousands of new jobs. In spite of this many Western states are still behind the rest of the nation in recovering jobs lost during the recent recession.
States such as Texas and North Dakota managed to avoid many of the worst effects of the recession and are currently experiencing an oil boom. Other states such as Utah and Colorado are seeing an increase in natural gas and oil drilling, but have also become high-tech centers. In Arizona jobs and growth has been fueled by a need for new technology as well as an increase in tourism. The knock on effect of an increase in household wealth is increased consumer spending.
In addition advances in technology mean more people are now able to work remotely. This is enabling people to move to more scenic areas in the West and to enjoy a better quality of life. Migration rates have increased as fewer people now have underwater mortgages. When the recovery first began to take hold quite a few Americans were unable to move due to debt mortgages and being in excess of their homes value.
Nowadays more home buyers are finding it easier to qualify for mortgages, and older Americans are choosing to plan their retirement around moving to more desirable locations in the West. All these factors mean experts are predicting the numbers of people choosing to migrate to Western states will increase considerably. An increase in population will in turn increase the need for local services, creating more jobs and the need for more homes.