Four of the five states posting the strongest job creation numbers year-to-date were also among the hardest-hit states during the recession. California and Florida, devastated by the housing collapse, are adding jobs at a respectable clip while manufacturers in Ohio and Illinois, particularly those related to exports and vehicle production, have rebounded briskly. However, these states remain well below their pre-recession employment peaks, particularly Florida, which is still down by 10.3 percent. Texas, which did not suffer from a housing bubble, is growing thanks to the energy industry and population in-migration. Texas trails its previous cyclical high by just 0.7 percent and could set a new peak by year-end. On a percentage basis, the top five growth states are North Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska – strong in energy and commodities – plus Ohio and Utah. Among the five states lagging in job growth year-to-date, Georgia – usually among the early states to recover following a recession – stands out as a victim of the housing bubble and the related distress among banks.