Western Blue Chip Current Update

April 23, 2024

The states included in the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.




The U. S. economy added 2.8 million jobs year-to-date through March of 2024, compared to the same period in 2023, according to data released by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (see Job Growth USA).  One in every four of the new jobs came from the top three states, with a combined employment increase of 710,000.  Two of these top three (Texas and California) were Western states (see table).  Arizona was the only other Western state among the top 10 sources of new jobs.  However, three (Colorado, Washington, Nevada) of the next five top growth states were from the West.  Utah and Idaho were among the top 25, while New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming were among the bottom tier for Q1 employment growth.  Oregon ranked in last place, the only state in the nation to lose jobs during the period.


Top 10 States – Q1 2024 Employment Growth

(YTD Employment Change March 2024 vs. 2023)


Rank State  New Jobs  Percent Change
  United States 2,817,000 1.8%
1 Texas 282,370 2.1%
2 Florida 225,960 2.3%
3 California 201,730 1.1%
4 New York 133,830 1.4%
5 Arizona 71,870 2.3%
6 North Carolina 70,330 1.4%
7 New Jersey 67,200 1.6%
8 South Carolina 64,530 2.8%
9 Pennsylvania 63,870 1.1%
10 Virginia 62,200 1.5%
  Remaining Western States    
11 Colorado 61,960 2.1%
13 Washington 55,000 1.6%
14 Nevada 54,430 3.6%
19 Utah 33,530 2.0%
23 Idaho 25,940 3.1%
31 New Mexico 16,200 1.9%
36 Montana 9,860 1.9%
46 Wyoming 3,100 1.1%
50 Oregon -11.130 -0.6%

Source: Job Growth USA, Arizona State University



“People and businesses continue to migrate to Texas in near-record numbers.  Consequently, inflation in large Texas metropolitan areas is running higher than the national average.  On a positive note, however, housing price increases have slowed and in some markets median home prices are actually declining.”

Bud Weinstein, Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics, University of North Texas


“Although the pace has slowed since the rapid comeback from the pandemic (as expected), Texas has continued to exhibit solid growth in both goods producing and service-oriented sectors.  Significant locations and investments are providing momentum, although the state is experiencing headwinds in major real estate markets.  Solid, but more moderate expansion is anticipated going forward.”

Ray Perryman, President and CEO, The Perryman Group