States with the fastest growing economies [View all]
In 2011, the U.S. economy grew for the second straight year, although at a slower pace than in 2010. According to figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. GDP increased 1.5 percent — less than half the 3.1 percent growth in the previous year. Still, this shows the economy is moving in the right direction.
Manufacturing, contributed to nearly a third of total growth.
In 2011, the real GDP of 11 states grew by at least a 2 percent. While some of these states, such as North Dakota, Utah, Texas and Alaska, showed economic strength throughout the recession — a trend that continues today — in other states, such as California and Michigan, this is a reversal of shrinking economies and hard times during the recession. In the case of states like California and Michigan, this increase should be considered in light of the hardships these economies have faced in the past few years.
In most of these 11 states, sector growth was similar to the nation as a whole, with the driving forces behind their growth coming from manufacturing. Six had at least 20 percent of their total growth come from durable goods manufacturing. In Michigan, over 58 percent of the state’s economic expansion came from durable goods manufacturing. In Oregon, it was 85 percent for total manufacturing.
In other states, such as Alaska, North Dakota and West Virginia, it was natural resource mining that contributed most to GDP growth. Some regional economies expanded the industries in which they specialize. In Washington, 42.5 percent of total GDP growth came from the information sector. Washington has the largest share of its total employment in that industry of any state. In Connecticut, where 8.3 percent of all jobs are in financial services, the second-largest proportion in the U.S., the insurance and finance industries accounted for 30 percent of the state’s total economic expansion.