The Sun Belt and Western States gobbled up two our of every three new jobs created in the United States from 1968 to 1978, according to a new study by the Labor Department.

The study shows that average employment increased by 18.4 million over the decade to a total of 94.4 million.

Of these new jobs, 12.3 million went to the South and the West, while only 6.1 million went to the Northeast and Midwest.

The study, published in the latest issue of the Labor Department's Monthly Labor Review, said one reason for the creation of more new jobs in the South and West appeared to be that business believe there is a better business climate there.

The study cited a 1975 survey by a locational consulting firm assessing the business climate in the 48 states. "States with low taxes, low levels of public assistance, restrictive labor legislation and a low level of government debt had low scores indicating more favorable environments," the survey concluded.

The states rated most favorably in the survey were (in order) Texas, Alabama, Virginia, South Dakota, the Carolinas, Florida, Arkansas Indiana, Utah,North Dakota and Mississippi -- largely southern states.

The list of state with allegedly unfavorable business climate were headed by New York and included Massachusetts, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Labor Department study said allocation of federal defense, space and other funds also played a role in stimulating growth in the South and West.

"Most notably, defense spending patterns over the last several decades have intensified the shift of both population and manufacturing out of the Northeast and North Central regions and into the South and West," wrote Philip L. Rones, author of the study.

"From 1951 to 1976 the South increased its share of these awards from 11 to 25 percent of the national total; the West's increase was just as dramatic, from 16 to 31 percent." The shares for the Northeast and Midwest meanwhile grew smaller.

Moreover, the aerospace and other high-technology industries have many federal installations in the South and West: the rocket center in Huntsville, Ala., the federal space centers in Houston, Texas, and Cape Cavaveral Fla., and U.S. research or U.S. -funded research centers in California.

The study figures clearly show that the Middle Atlantic States (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) that the slowest increase in the total number of jobs, 8.7 percent, while the Mountain States had an incredible 57.9 percent growth of jobs from 1968 to 1978.

Of the 18.4 million new jobs, 7.3 million went to the South and about 5 million to the West for a combined total of 12.3 million. Jobs increased 4.1 million in the Midwest and i million in the Northeast for a total of 6.1 million.