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And the winner is? Handful of states spurs on U.S. economic growth

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 12th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There's been lots of negative economic news as of late that obscures the fact that the United States' economy continues to grow. The economy is growing, although not as fast as last year - 1.5 percent as compared to 2011's 3.1 percent - and a handful of states are fueling this ongoing growth.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The biggest contributions to the nation's economic growth were professional, scientific and technical services and the information sector. These fields represented 24.7 percent and 14.7 percent of total U.S. GDP growth, respectively.

Durable goods manufacturing remains the most vital growth industry in the U.S. Manufacturing contributed to nearly a third of U.S. GDP growth. An analysis by 24/7 Wall St. examined 11 states with the largest GDP growth in the in the nation for 2011.

The real GDP of 11 states grew by at least a two percent last year. Some of these states, such as North Dakota, Utah, Texas and Alaska, showed economic strength throughout the recession, while other states proved a reversal of shrinking economies and hard times during the recession. The economies of California and Michigan in particular have weathered hardships for the past few years.

According to 24/7 Wall St., the states with the biggest GDP increases run the gamut from the largest in the country such as California to the third-least populous, North Dakota.

In North Dakota, this had the largest GDP increase, the number of employed people in the state increased by 4.8 percent, the biggest relative increase in the country. The next three biggest relative increases - Utah, Texas, and Michigan - all experienced 2 percent or higher GDP growth.

The five states with the largest growth in GDP:

1. North Dakota
GDP growth: 7.6 percent
Real 2011 GDP: $34.262 billion (5th lowest)
Population change: +1.38 percent (3rd highest)
Percent increase in employment: 4.8 percent (the highest)

2. Oregon
GDP growth: 4.7 percent
Real 2011 GDP: $186.228 billion (25th highest)
Population change: +0.87 percent (16th highest)
Percent increase in employment: 1.0 percent (tied-21st highest)

3. West Virginia
GDP growth: 4.5 percent
Real 2011 GDP: $55.765 billion (11th lowest)
Population change: +0.05 percent (3rd lowest)
Percent increase in employment: 1.0 percent (tied-21st highest)

4. Texas
GDP growth: 3.3 percent
Real 2011 GDP: $1.149908 trillion (2nd highest)
Population change: +1.67 percent (The highest)
Percent increase in employment: 2.1 percent (3rd highest)

5. Alaska
GDP growth: 2.5 percent
Real 2011 GDP: $44.702 billion (7th lowest)
Population change: +1.2 percent (6th highest)
Percent increase in employment: 1.1 percent (tied-15th highest)

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