The U.S., as is the case with the rest of the world, is in a challenging situation right now. COVID-19 has led to shutdowns for months, and many state economies remain largely shuttered.
Even with these challenges, some economies are doing better than others.
While the United States as a whole can largely be considered in a recession right now, some states have suffered less steep job losses than others. Also, in cities and states with previously strong economic growth, the populations were more financially secure and better equipped to weather the storm.
With many people moving away from bigger cities and to other areas of the country, the state of the economy in any given location might be a big part of your decision as far as where you want to move.
Of course, people aren’t just relocating because of the economy. Other factors include a lower cost of living, and many people are also looking to relocate to places with lower crime rates. Even so, the economy, of course, is a big part of all of that.
The following are some of the U.S. cities and states with the best thriving economies right now.
The economy in Utah was named number one in the nation through the first quarter of 2020, according to 24/7 Wall Street. This ranking came out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wallstreet 24/7 cited Utah’s low unemployment rate compared to the rest of the nation as one of the big reasons they called it number one.
Much of the country have seen their unemployment rates go up to double digits, but Utah had the lowest rate in the country in July.
Utah also had the strongest economic growth even before the pandemic.
Arizona is ranked among the best states in the nation for economic growth, and many people are flocking to the state as a result.
According to Governor Ducey, the economy was one of the strongest in the nation going into the pandemic. Ducey said that the state does follow common-sense safety strategies as the pandemic continues, but they remain a national leader. Ducey has focused the state’s economic growth on small business owners and entrepreneurs.
As far as specific cities, Fort Collins, Colorado, has led the nation in job growth.
The population has also grown in the area.
From October 2014 to October 2019, the Fort Collins area saw 18% job growth, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Another city to add to the list is the Midland-Odessa metro in Texas. It’s located in West Texas and primary industries include energy, manufacturing, and transportation. The per capita personal income in Midland is the highest in Texas.
Montana’s unemployment has remained comparatively low throughout the pandemic, and the state went into 2020’s challenges with a robust economy. The economy is largely built on agriculture. However, Montana is also becoming a haven for entrepreneurs and startups.
As of 2019, Montana had continued to see steady economic growth since the end of the recession in 2009.
There has also been significant wage growth in the state.
Montana has had one of the longest economic expansions in the country, plus it’s a beautiful state scenically, making it somewhere that’s drawing in a lot of new residents.
Alabama has a foundation that’s set for growth right now.
There are several different industries and key areas of development that are helping this.
For example, Lockheed Martin has selected North Alabama as its flagship location to work on hypersonics technology. Dynetics, a Huntsville-based company, is also working on hypersonics.
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is working on the construction of its US plant in Huntsville.
There’s an expansion of the aerospace industry in the state, and there are also efforts to create more development and opportunities in the rural areas of the state.
Idaho has seen an influx of people from states like California, and there’s been economic growth over the past few years. With that has come increases in the cost of living, however, which is something to be aware of. The cost of doing business, according to Forbes, is 1% above the national average.
Idaho is expected to see 3.5% average economic growth over the next five years, with major industries including food processing, lumber and wood products, chemicals, and mining.
Science and technology are also becoming increasingly relevant in Idaho, led by semiconductor maker Micron Technology.