North Dakota and North Carolina are at opposite ends of a new index measuring states' economic growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
The Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States (BEES) index — a survey that is updated quarterly, with the latest results released today (November 2) — examines the pace of states' growth following the 18-month recession that officially ended in June 2009. The analysis examines six factors to measure the states and the District of Columbia against one another: unemployment, tax collections, residents' personal income, housing prices, mortgage delinquencies and the stock-market performance of locally based companies.
Based on those factors, North Dakota beats out the rest of the country, thanks to an oil boom that is "raising incomes and boosting government coffers at the nation's quickest rate," according to Bloomberg .
Michigan is seeing the nation's second-fastest growth, thanks to the recovery of the U.S. auto industry. Bloomberg credits the auto bailout approved by the Obama administration, the improving fortunes of Chrysler and Ford and a new contract between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers union that increased starting pay for employees.
North Carolina is seeing the slowest growth of any state. Bloomberg says the state has suffered along with one of its most visible companies, Bank of America, which has seen its stock price plummet amid a host of negative headlines. On Tuesday (November 1), the bank announced that it would drop its plan to charge a $5 monthly debit-card fee after an outcry among its customers.