On the national level, the unemployment rate slowly but steadily continued to improve in July 2013, dropping to 7.4 percent-the lowest rate since December 2008. The unemployment rate hit a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009 and has fallen or remained the same in 36 of the 45 months since.

Based on analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 states currently have employment at or above pre-recession levels. North Dakota has grown the most and has 23 percent more positions today than it did when the recession began. Texas comes in second with 6.6 percent higher employment followed by Alaska, with 4.6 percent growth.  In nominal terms, Texas has seen the largest employment gains and now has nearly 700,000 more positions than it did when the recession began, while New York has 106,000 more positions and North Dakota has 89,000 more positions.

More than one of every 10 people employed in Washington state is employed in a job related to technology. In fact, the Evergreen State tops the list of states with the highest number of high-tech jobs relative to total employment, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute in San Francisco found from an analysis of government data.

Learn more from Capitol Ideas Magazine.