How state economies have changed during the Trump administration
Donald Trump is presiding over a national economy that, depending on whom you listen to, is either rockin' and rollin' or not as robust in many areas as the economies of some recent predecessors in the Oval Office. But state economies are clearly feeling the effects of the Trump Administration's policies and politics; some for the better, some for the worse.
Documenting economic changes under Trump, as with any other president, is critical for several reasons. One of the biggest is that assessing the many factors that make up a state's gross domestic product (GDP) assists in avoiding faulty financial moves in the future.
The GDP numbers are estimates that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) “derives as the sum of the gross domestic product originating in all industries in the state,” which can range from agricultural, forestry, fishing, and hunting to heavy manufacturing and government enterprises. The BEA uses an equation, including all 50 states and Washington D.C., to come up with the numbers: “GDP = consumption + investment + government spending + exports – imports,” which is based on 4Q 2016 GDP figures that are adjusted for inflation to 3Q 2018 dollars.
The overall U.S. economy has been on solid ground since Trump took office, and Stacker finds that the wholesale and retail trade, and the finance and insurance sectors are the leading engines of growth in most states. Still, with trade war threats and one serious government shutdown already, many states are concerned about their financial futures.
Connecticut was the country's slowest-growing economy over the time period Slacker studied, with a 0% change, while Washington State led the list at 15% thanks to a friendly business environment. California's financial footprint continues to get more massive: Its GDP now approaches $3 trillion, which would make it the world's fifth-largest economy if it were a nation, passing the U.K. Despite that, the Golden State's 7.97% growth didn't crack the top five.
Read on to see where each state and the District of Columbia ranks in growth during the Trump Administration.
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- % change in real GDP: 0%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $276.2 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $276.2 billion
Connecticut had a bad year economically in 2017, so its overall growth was stagnant in spite of growing quarter-over-quarter in 2018. In fact, Connecticut's economy has been stagnant for about two decades; and while the state consistently ranks among the five richest in the country, that's mostly because of its wealthy residents along the “Gold Coast” (lower Fairfield County). With the exception of Stamford (also in the Gold Coast), Connecticut's cities are largely depressed economically.
#50. West Virginia
- % change in real GDP: 0.57%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $77.9 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $78.3 billion
The Trump administration's tariffs took a toll on West Virginia's coal mining industry while the GDP for mining across the nation was unaltered in the second quarter of 2018. On the flip side, West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics reports a brighter future. The university research, provided by public- and private-sector state and national clients, says that “after several years of economic hardship, West Virginia's economy hit bottom in 2016 and has grown over the past few quarters.”
#49. New Mexico
- % change in real GDP: 1.21%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $98.4 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $99.6 billion
Despite having one of the slowest growing GDPs, New Mexico's 0.69% growth in government and government enterprises in the second quarter of 2018 shows the Trump administration's positive influence on The Land of Enchantment. “New Mexico's economy leads other states in job and wage gains since President Donald Trump's Inauguration in January 2017, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia data,” reports Bloomberg.
- % change in real GDP: 1.31%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $208.8 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $211.5 billion
Retail trade was among the fastest-growing sectors in the Bluegrass State; however, President Trump's face-off with China over trade may change that. Meanwhile, the administration of GOP Gov. Matt Bevin touts good economic times despite the state's slowing income and limited workforce. “Gov. Bevin has sent a clear message that Kentucky is open for business, and the 45,791 new jobs and nearly $16.5 billion in investment announced since the start of the administration (in December 2015) prove that companies are choosing to invest in Kentucky,” a spokesperson for the governor said last September.
- % change in real GDP: 1.49%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $315.4 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $320.1 billion
Professional, scientific, and technical services saw the largest rise at 0.36% in the second and third quarters of 2018. Missouri was recently awarded a portion of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7's $51 million contract to provide scientific and technical support services to the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START V), which will further that sector's growth. Information and retail trade services also rose at 0.33% each in the Show-Me State.
- % change in real GDP: 1.5%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $238.1 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $241.7 billion
Some of the 1.5% rise in GDP in the construction, real estate, rental, and leasing sectors can be attributed to the University of Oregon, whose fiscal year 2017–2018 showed an economic footprint of approximately $2.2 billion. It is expected that some of the $518 million in general obligation bonds dedicated to construction jobs coming down the pike—including more university renovations and Department of Fish and Wildlife facility upgrades—will raise GDP a little higher.
- % change in real GDP: 1.82%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $74.4 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $75.7 billion
The finance and insurance sector rose 1.68%, giving Delaware a reported GDP boost in early 2018. The Trump Administration is making it easier for insurance brokers to sell short-term health plans in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and that may have spurred growth in the insurance sector. In November 2018, Forbes bumped Delaware up five spots in its Best State for Business rankings, reporting that because of its business-friendly corporate law, more than 50% of U.S. publicly traded companies reside in the state.
- % change in real GDP: 1.9%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $112.1 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $114.2 billion
Mississippi only saw a decline in handful of the workforce sectors, ranking highest in retail trade, yet the state remains economically depressed. USA Today recently ranked Yazoo City as one of America's worst cities to live in, reporting it has double the comparable national unemployment rate and is losing jobs instead of gaining them like the rest of the country. Furthermore, the jobs gained earn an average household less than $21,000 annually and keep 49% of Mississippi residents living below the poverty line.
- % change in real GDP: 2%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $187.5 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $191.3 billion
Although the finance and insurance sector posted the highest percentage increase at 0.8, it is the retail trade category at only 0.17% that helped boost the economy, with more than $561 million in exports to China. That led to around 5,600 new jobs last year. In an effort to enhance the economy and slight 2% GDP rise, Hawkeye State business leaders are signing onto the Iowa Compact on Immigration in hopes of presenting a welcoming and business-friendly state for newcomers to America.
#42. Rhode Island
- % change in real GDP: 2.07%
- 2016 Q4 real GDP: $60.6 billion
- 2018 Q3 real GDP: $61.9 billion
The wholesale trade and finance and insurance sectors dominated the slight rise in the 2.07% GDP, but the state's economy still suffered, managing to lose 1,700 jobs while maintaining a steady 4% unemployment rate.2018 All rights reserved.