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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 4.6% -0.8% -1.2% 0.2% 34 2.1% 40,600 0.7% 13,100 -0.1% -2700
Alaska 6.8% 0.2% 0.1% 0.4% 51 0.2% 700 1.1% 3,600 4.1% 13000
Arizona 5.1% 0.1% -0.2% 0.7% 46 2.1% 56,900 0.4% 10,800 2.8% 73900
Arkansas 3.4% -0.1% -0.7% -1.8% 12 2.0% 24,900 0.5% 6,000 3.5% 42400
California 4.7% -0.1% -0.8% -1.3% 37 1.6% 261,400 0.1% 23,400 7.9% 1225500
Colorado 2.3% 0.0% -1.1% -1.8% 1 2.1% 54,900 0.5% 12,000 12.6% 296500
Connecticut 5.0% 0.1% -0.2% 0.1% 42 0.9% 15,400 0.7% 12,600 -0.7% -11100
Delaware 4.7% 0.1% 0.3% 1.0% 38 0.4% 1,900 -0.2% -900 3.2% 14100
Washington D.C. 6.2% 0.3% 0.1% 0.5% 25 1.3% 10,200 0.5% 4,300 13.0% 90900
Florida 4.1% -0.4% -0.8% -0.8% 41 2.9% 238,600 0.6% 50,300 8.5% 670900
Georgia 4.8% -0.2% -0.5% -0.3% 3 2.8% 122,600 0.6% 26,900 7.8% 325700
Hawaii 2.7% 0.0% -0.4% -0.5% 8 1.5% 9,800 0.3% 2,000 4.3% 27300
Idaho 3.1% -0.3% -0.7% -0.1% 39 2.2% 15,200 -0.1% -800 8.0% 52600
Illinois 4.7% 0.0% -1.2% -0.8% 6 0.9% 54,100 0.3% 19,900 1.1% 63900
Indiana 3.0% -0.6% -1.5% -1.8% 10 1.5% 45,200 0.3% 10,600 4.3% 128300
Iowa 3.2% 0.1% -0.6% -0.5% 16 1.6% 25,600 0.9% 14,200 4.4% 66600
Kansas 3.7% 0.0% -0.5% -0.6% 47 -0.3% -4,000 -0.4% -6,200 1.2% 16600
Kentucky 5.1% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 48 1.6% 30,900 0.0% 0 4.4% 81500
Louisiana 5.5% -0.3% -0.7% 1.4% 14 1.1% 20,700 0.8% 16,100 2.8% 53800
Maine 3.5% 0.5% -0.4% -1.4% 26 1.1% 6,900 0.2% 1,400 0.4% 2600
Maryland 4.1% -0.2% -0.2% 0.7% 30 2.1% 56,100 0.4% 11,800 5.2% 136900
Massachusetts 4.3% 0.4% 0.6% -0.3% 20 1.9% 65,900 0.3% 12,000 9.0% 298200
Michigan 3.8% -0.9% -1.0% -3.5% 17 1.4% 60,800 -0.2% -7,500 3.2% 137600
Minnesota 3.7% -0.1% -0.2% -1.0% 43 2.2% 62,600 0.1% 1,500 6.4% 177500
Mississippi 5.0% 0.0% -0.9% -0.9% 21 0.5% 6,100 0.3% 3,500 -1.0% -11700
Missouri 3.8% -0.1% -0.9% -1.6% 22 1.6% 46,600 0.6% 16,800 3.0% 84000
Montana 3.9% 0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 4 1.4% 6,700 -0.4% -1,700 6.1% 27400
Nebraska 2.9% -0.1% -0.3% -0.1% 40 1.6% 16,200 0.7% 6,800 6.6% 63400
Nevada 4.7% 0.0% -1.0% -0.4% 5 3.8% 48,700 0.6% 8,500 3.9% 50000
New Hampshire 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -0.6% 27 1.7% 11,000 -0.2% -1,300 4.2% 27500
New Jersey 4.1% 0.0% -1.0% -0.5% 50 1.2% 48,300 0.0% 1,500 0.8% 32100
New Mexico 6.4% -0.3% -0.3% 2.4% 32 1.1% 9,500 -0.2% -1,900 -1.3% -11100
New York 4.5% 0.2% -0.4% -0.4% 28 1.6% 148,300 0.5% 45,800 8.7% 761500
North Carolina 4.2% -0.5% -0.7% -0.8% 2 1.7% 72,200 0.6% 27,800 5.7% 238700
North Dakota 2.3% -0.4% -0.9% -0.8% 44 1.5% 6,700 0.7% 3,000 21.5% 78000
Ohio 5.0% 0.0% 0.1% -0.7% 31 1.0% 56,800 0.4% 19,700 2.0% 110700
Oklahoma 4.3% 0.0% -0.7% 0.7% 18 0.5% 8,800 0.2% 3,600 3.1% 49000
Oregon 3.7% 0.0% -1.4% -1.6% 45 2.7% 50,200 0.6% 11,100 8.2% 142400
Pennsylvania 5.0% 0.1% -0.5% 0.2% 29 1.3% 74,000 0.2% 10,700 2.1% 124900
Rhode Island 4.2% -0.1% -1.2% -1.9% 24 1.4% 6,700 0.4% 1,800 1.8% 8800
South Carolina 4.0% -0.3% -0.9% -1.7% 7 1.4% 29,700 0.3% 6,700 6.7% 130700
South Dakota 3.0% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3% 15 0.6% 2,700 -0.8% -3,300 6.7% 27400
Tennessee 3.6% -1.1% -1.1% -1.9% 35 2.0% 59,300 0.2% 6,800 7.6% 213600
Texas 4.6% -0.4% -0.1% 0.3% 13 2.7% 319,300 0.5% 59,600 16.5% 1744000
Utah 3.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.4% 11 3.0% 43,400 0.3% 3,900 16.0% 202900
Vermont 3.2% 0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 19 0.7% 2,200 -0.1% -200 2.0% 6300
Virginia 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% 0.2% 33 1.3% 50,000 0.2% 8,300 4.9% 184900
Washington 4.5% -0.1% -1.0% -0.3% 49 2.4% 76,400 0.2% 6,000 10.6% 318100
West Virginia 4.6% -0.2% -1.4% -0.1% 36 0.2% 1,500 0.0% 0 -1.7% -13100
Wisconsin 3.1% -0.1% -1.1% -1.7% 9 1.3% 38,400 -0.2% -5,000 2.7% 77600
Wyoming 3.9% -0.4% -1.6% 1.1% 23 -1.2% -3,400 -0.7% -2,000 -5.7% -16900

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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