North Dakota, Alaska have nation's strongest economies

The multiyear recession and housing collapse have turned the tables on states like Nevada and Florida, which used to have the nation's most dynamic economies, leaving North Dakota and Alaska with the two strongest economies in the United States, according to a review -- which emphasized private-sector employment trends -- by and its affiliate


Both front-runners registered impressive gains during the past half decade at a time when most other states were suffering sizable declines. North Dakota expanded its employment base by 7.8 percent from 2005 to 2010, adding 21,300 jobs. Alaska's corresponding gain was 4.4 percent, or 10,100 jobs. ...

The recent half decade was not kind to most parts of the country. Forty states had fewer jobs in May 2010 than five years earlier. The nation lost a total of 4.51 million private-sector positions between mid-2005 and mid-2010.

Portfolio says it used a nine-part formula to gauge each state's employment trends. See the complete results here.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Department of Labor has released its annual list of the top 100 private employers in the state. Providence Health and Services remains at the top of the list, but nine diverse new companies in the top 100 bode well for Alaska's economy, officials say.