Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, most states still haven't regained all the jobs they lost, even though the nation as a whole has.
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 only 18 states have more jobs than when the recession began in 2007, among them Nebraska and Iowa.
Nebraska ranks 12th overall in job re-growth per Associated Press numbers. Comparing December 2007 job numbers to the most recent available numbers, Nebraska has added an additional 1.9 percent jobs. Iowa ranks 16th after adding an additional 1.6 percent above the number of jobs the state had lost.
Yet 32 states still have fewer jobs than when the recession began in December 2007, even though economists declared the recession over in June 2009.
That means only 18 states have carried the country back to pre-recession numbers.
The states where hiring lags the most tend to be those that were hit most painfully by the recession. Nevada, which suffered a spectacular real estate bust and four years of double-digit unemployment - has fared worst. It has 6 percent fewer jobs than it did in December 2007.