5. Montana
Montana
State GDP: $32 billion
Growth in 2010: 1.1%

As one of the country's smallest economies, Montana is more sensitive to shocks than larger states.

When Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. closed its paper mill in Missoula County for example, its roughly 400 workers were left without jobs. But that soon trickled into layoffs at local loggers, as well as nearby businesses that serviced the factory.

Some estimates reported by local media say that the single paper-mill closure eventually meant a loss of about 3,000 jobs for the state.

Overall, a decline in manufacturing of non-durable goods -- including paper -- dragged on the Montana's economic growth last year. Slight gains in healthcare and mining made up for some of that slack, helping the state economy grow at a snail's pace of 1.1%.




Last updated June 17 2011: 12:05 PM ET
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