The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases a monthly coincident index, heavily weighted by employment factors, for every state.

From the release earlier this week:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for May 2012. In the past month, the indexes increased in 34 states, decreased in nine states, and remained stable in seven states, for a one-month diffusion index of 50. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 47 states and decreased in three states (Alaska, Maine, and Mississippi), for a three-month diffusion index of 88. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed has also developed a similar coincident index for the entire United States. The Philadelphia Fed’s U.S. index rose 0.2 percent in May and 0.6 percent over the past three months.

The relatively high number of states with decreasing indexes last month is a concern, but as you can see on the map, the general three-month trends are fairly positive:

It’s worth noting the better than average performance of a handful of key swing states in November: Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan (most commentators put Indiana leaning Romney right now, with Michigan leaning Obama).

There’s been some disappointing economic data flowing out in recent weeks, but it doesn’t look like we’re headed toward a recession — just more slow growth.

In this graph from Calculated Risk, you can see how much state level employment has improved since the worst f the recession. But you can also see how bad it is in many states.

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