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Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, most states still haven't regained all the jobs they lost, even though the nation as a whole has. In May, the overall economy finally recovered all 9 million jobs that vanished in the worst downturn since the 1930s. Another month of solid hiring is expected in the U.S. jobs report for June that will be released Thursday. Yet 32 states still have fewer jobs than when the recession began in December 2007, even though economists declared the recession over in June 2009. The states where hiring lags the most tend to be those that were hit most painfully by the recession. Nevada, which suffered a spectacular real estate bust and four years of double-digit unemployment — has fared worst. It has 6 percent fewer jobs than it did in December 2007. Arizona, also slammed by the housing collapse, is 5 percent short. By contrast, an energy boom has lifted several states to the top. North Dakota added 100,000 jobs since December 2007 — a stunning 28 percent increase.
-The Associated Press