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News from EPI Most state labor markets improve in May, a handful continue to see rising unemployment and slow job growth

The State and Regional Employment report for May, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed steady improvement in most states’ labor markets, while a handful of states continue to experience unemployment increases and slow job growth.

From February to May, 30 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with North Dakota (1.0 percent), Utah (0.8 percent), District of Columbia (0.6 percent), Hawaii (0.6 percent) and Oregon (0.6 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, employment fell in 20 states. Of those states, West Virginia (-0.7 percent), Kansas (-0.6 percent), New Jersey (-0.6 percent), and Vermont (-0.6 percent) had the largest losses.

From February to May, the unemployment rate fell in 35 states. Tennessee (-1.3 percent), Michigan (-1.1 percent), Indiana (-0.9 percent), and Illinois (-0.8 percent) saw the largest declines unemployment. Over those same months, the unemployment rate increased in eight states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in unemployment occurred in Massachusetts (0.8 percent), District of Columbia (0.3 percent), Connecticut (0.2 percent), Delaware (0.2 percent), and New Hampshire (0.2 percent). In seven states, the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged.

Figure 1

Current state unemployment rate and percent change in total number of jobs over last 12 months

State Current unemployment rate Change in unemployment rate in last 3 months Change in unemployment rate in last 12 months Change in unemployment rate since Dec. 2007 State unemployment rate ranking from lowest to highest Percent change in number of jobs in last 12 months Change in number of jobs in last 12 months Percent change in number of jobs in last 3 months Change in number of jobs in last 3 months Percent change in number of jobs since Dec. 2007 Change in number of jobs since Dec. 2007
Alabama 4.2% -0.7% -1.7% -0.2% 30 1.4% 26,900 0.1% 1,800 -0.4% -8,600
Alaska 7.2% 0.5% 0.5% 0.8% 52 0.1% 300 0.4% 1,200 4.1% 13,100
Arizona 5.0% -0.1% -0.1% 0.6% 44 1.3% 34,700 0.2% 5,900 2.7% 71,600
Arkansas 3.5% 0.1% -0.5% -1.7% 14 1.9% 23,400 0.5% 6,800 3.7% 44,500
California 5.1% 0.4% -0.3% -0.9% 45 1.6% 265,100 0.4% 73,100 8.4% 1,300,000
Colorado 2.4% 0.1% -0.9% -1.7% 2 1.8% 45,800 0.6% 14,800 13.0% 304,800
Connecticut 4.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.1% 38 0.4% 6,000 0.0% 0 -1.1% -18,100
Delaware 4.9% 0.2% 0.6% 1.2% 41 0.6% 2,800 0.3% 1300 3.8% 16,600
Washington D.C. 6.4% 0.4% 0.4% 0.7% 51 1.7% 13,100 0.4% 3,300 13.5% 94,300
Florida 4.0% -0.3% -0.9% -0.9% 25 2.6% 221,400 0.8% 66,600 9.1% 718,100
Georgia 4.7% -0.2% -0.6% -0.4% 36 2.7% 116,500 0.9% 41,600 8.2% 339,900
Hawaii 2.6% -0.1% -0.4% -0.6% 3 0.6% 3,800 0.3% 1,800 4.4% 27,900
Idaho 2.9% -0.3% -0.9% -0.3% 6 2.2% 15,200 0.7% 5,300 8.8% 57,500
Illinois 5.0% 0.4% -0.8% -0.5% 43 0.4% 23,600 0.1% 3,300 1.0% 58,600
Indiana 3.5% 0.3% -0.9% -1.3% 13 1.0% 31,600 0.5% 15,200 4.4% 132,500
Iowa 3.3% 0.2% -0.4% -0.4% 10 1.1% 17,200 0.6% 9,500 4.3% 64,900
Kansas 3.9% 0.2% -0.4% -0.4% 21 -0.6% -9,000 -0.4% -5,000 1.1% 15,100
Kentucky 5.4% 0.4% 0.4% -0.1% 49 1.6% 30,500 0.4% 7,300 4.8% 89,300
Louisiana 5.2% -0.5% -0.9% 1.1% 46 1.2% 24,200 0.0% 800 2.6% 50,200
Maine 3.8% 0.6% -0.2% -1.1% 17 0.4% 2,700 0.0% 300 0.0% 100
Maryland 3.9% -0.3% -0.3% 0.5% 20 2.3% 63,600 1.2% 34,200 6.0% 157,800
Massachusetts 4.2% 0.0% 0.8% -0.4% 29 1.6% 57,400 0.7% 24,200 9.4% 312,400
Michigan 3.9% -0.3% -1.0% -3.4% 19 1.4% 60,300 0.2% 9,300 3.5% 147,200
Minnesota 3.8% 0.1% -0.2% -0.9% 16 1.5% 44,000 0.2% 5,300 6.4% 178,400
Mississippi 5.3% 0.4% -0.5% -0.6% 47 0.6% 6,900 0.8% 8,900 -0.6% -6,800
Missouri 4.0% 0.1% -0.8% -1.4% 24 1.8% 52,300 0.9% 26,200 3.5% 98,300
Montana 3.9% 0.0% -0.2% -0.3% 18 1.6% 7,600 0.2% 800 6.5% 28,800
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 5 1.3% 13,500 0.3% 2,600 6.1% 59,500
Nevada 4.9% 0.2% -0.6% -0.2% 40 3.0% 38,800 1.2% 16,400 4.3% 55,800
New Hampshire 2.7% -0.2% -0.2% -0.8% 4 2.1% 14,300 1.4% 9,400 5.4% 34,900
New Jersey 4.5% 0.4% -0.5% -0.1% 34 0.9% 38,100 0.5% 21,800 1.1% 43,300
New Mexico 6.3% -0.3% -0.5% 2.3% 50 1.1% 8,800 0.2% 1,500 -1.2% -10,000
New York 4.8% 0.4% -0.1% -0.1% 37 1.4% 128,600 0.5% 45,200 8.9% 780,700
North Carolina 4.1% -0.4% -0.9% -0.9% 27 1.6% 70,500 0.7% 28,700 6.1% 254,800
North Dakota 2.3% -0.2% -0.8% -0.8% 1 1.3% 5,700 0.3% 1,200 21.8% 78,800
Ohio 5.4% 0.5% 0.5% -0.3% 48 1.0% 57,100 0.5% 27,900 2.3% 127,100
Oklahoma 4.5% 0.2% -0.5% 0.9% 33 1.2% 19,900 1.0% 17,200 3.9% 62,500
Oregon 4.1% 0.5% -0.9% -1.2% 26 2.3% 41,600 0.4% 6,600 8.1% 140,500
Pennsylvania 4.9% -0.1% -0.6% 0.1% 39 1.0% 59,400 0.4% 23,400 2.4% 142,200
Rhode Island 4.3% 0.2% -1.0% -1.8% 31 1.9% 9,300 0.7% 3,300 2.4% 11,900
South Carolina 4.0% -0.1% -0.6% -1.7% 23 1.7% 35,600 0.7% 15,400 7.5% 145,600
South Dakota 3.3% 0.4% 0.4% 0.6% 9 0.8% 3,300 -0.1% -300 7.0% 28,600
Tennessee 3.3% -0.7% -1.5% -2.2% 8 1.8% 52,200 0.5% 15,300 8.0% 223,000
Texas 4.2% -0.6% -0.5% -0.1% 28 2.5% 298,600 0.6% 67,800 16.8% 1,771,600
Utah 3.5% 0.3% 0.2% 0.5% 12 2.6% 37,300 0.2% 2,300 16.3% 206,800
Vermont 3.0% -0.2% -0.2% -1.2% 7 0.6% 1900 0.7% 2,300 2.5% 7,700
Virginia 3.8% 0.0% -0.3% 0.3% 15 1.5% 58,700 0.7% 28,700 5.4% 204,200
Washington 4.6% 0.1% -0.8% -0.2% 35 2.1% 67,300 0.3% 11,400 10.9% 327,000
West Virginia 5.0% 0.5% -1.0% 0.3% 42 0.1% 900 0.4% 2800 -1.9% -14,800
Wisconsin 3.4% 0.3% -0.8% -1.4% 11 0.6% 19,000 -0.3% -8,400 2.4% 70,500
Wyoming 4.0% -0.1% -1.2% 1.2% 22 -0.9% -2,400 -0.7% -1,900 -5.8% -17,200

Jobs refers to the total number of jobs, part-time or full-time, in non-farm establishments.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics' Local Area Unemployment Statistics data

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