The folks over at Economic Modeling Specialists have put together an interesting chart comparing job creation across states. Instead of measuring only new jobs per capita, they've crunched the numbers to figure out which states played the biggest role in developing new opportunities. As they explain it:
We used "shift share," a standard economic analysis method that reveals if overall job growth is explained primarily by national economic trends and industry growth or unique regional factors. Shift share analysis, which can also be referred to as “regional competitiveness analysis,” helps us distinguish between growth that is primarily based on big national forces (the proverbial “rising tide lifts all boats” analogy) vs. local competitive advantages.
By this estimate, North Dakota's job creation most exceeded expectations, followed by Texas and Alaska. Florida, Arizona, and Nevada had the most disappointing job creation. See the full chart here, and an explanation here.