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News from EPI Most states end 2017 on the right path, but pockets of weakness remain

The State and Regional Employment report for December, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that the positive trends experienced by most states in 2017 continued through the end of the year, as a majority of states saw job growth and falling unemployment rates.

“While Republicans in Congress have claimed that their tax bill will spur job creation, the improvements we’re seeing at the state level are clearly the continuation of a trend,” said Economic Analyst Janelle Jones. “Furthermore, the overall improvement masks pockets of job loss and rising unemployment, especially in communities of color. Policymakers should work to implement policies that will genuinely create jobs and move the economy closer to full employment.”

From September to December, 38 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Florida (2.1 percent), Montana (1.2 percent), Nevada (1.2 percent), Oregon (1.2 percent), and South Carolina (1.2 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, employment fell in 12 states. The largest job losses occurred in Alaska (-1.2 percent), North Dakota (-1.0 percent), and Delaware (-0.7 percent).

From September to December, unemployment fell in 30 states and the District of Columbia. California (-0.8 percentage points), Kentucky (-0.8 percentage points), Maine (-0.7 percentage points), Minnesota (-0.6 percentage points), and Mississippi (-0.6 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment rates. Over those same months, the unemployment rate increased in 17 states, up from 13 states in last month’s report. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Colorado (0.6 percentage points), Michigan (0.4 percentage points), North Carolina (0.4 percentage points), and West Virginia (0.4 percentage points). In three states the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged: Connecticut, Georgia, and Virginia.

December

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 3.5% -0.3% -2.8% -0.9% 19 1.7% 34,100 0.3% 5,600 0.2% 4,400
Alaska 7.3% 0.1% 0.7% 0.9% 51 -0.7% -2200 -1.2% -3900 2.6% 8,200
Arizona 4.5% -0.2% -0.5% 0.1% 36 1.3% 35,000 0.1% 3,300 3.4% 90,900
Arkansas 3.7% 0.2% -0.2% -1.5% 22 0.9% 11,300 -0.5% -6500 3.4% 41,200
California 4.3% -0.8% -0.9% -1.7% 30 2.1% 342,500 0.9% 151,800 9.7% 1,502,600
Colorado 3.1% 0.6% 0.1% -1.0% 12 2.0% 53,200 0.5% 13,900 13.7% 321,000
Connecticut 4.6% 0.0% 0.2% -0.3% 41 0.5% 7700 -0.1% -2,000 -1.2% -20,100
Delaware 4.6% -0.3% 0.3% 0.9% 40 -0.1% -600 -0.7% -3300 3.0% 13,100
Washington D.C. 6.0% -0.5% 0.3% 0.3% 50 1.0% 8,000 0.2% 1500 13.6% 95,500
Florida 3.7% -0.1% -1.2% -1.2% 21 2.5% 213,500 2.1% 176,100 9.8% 774,100
Georgia 4.4% 0.0% -1.1% -0.7% 33 1.9% 83,200 0.5% 24,600 8.4% 348,600
Hawaii 2.0% -0.5% -0.9% -1.2% 1 1.1% 7,200 0.1% 700 5.0% 31,300
Idaho 2.9% 0.1% -0.7% -0.3% 7 2.1% 14,700 0.9% 6,800 10.1% 66,000
Illinois 4.8% -0.2% -0.9% -0.7% 45 0.5% 29,600 0.2% 13900 1.1% 65,700
Indiana 3.4% -0.4% -0.6% -1.4% 15 0.9% 27,600 0.2% 7,100 4.8% 142,900
Iowa 2.8% -0.4% -0.7% -0.9% 6 1.8% 28,300 0.8% 13,400 4.9% 74,900
Kansas 3.4% -0.4% -0.9% -0.9% 14 0.4% 6,300 0.6% 8,000 2.2% 30,000
Kentucky 4.4% -0.8% -0.4% -1.1% 32 1.1% 21,200 0.1% 1,200 5.1% 94,500
Louisiana 4.6% -0.5% -1.4% 0.5% 39 0.3% 5,500 -0.3% -6,000 2.0% 39,500
Maine 3.0% -0.7% -0.8% -1.9% 9 0.8% 5,000 0.2% 1,200 0.3% 1900
Maryland 4.0% 0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 24 1.1% 31,400 -0.7% -19,500 5.4% 141,700
Massachusetts 3.5% -0.4% 0.4% -1.1% 18 1.8% 63,000 0.3% 10,700 10.0% 330,600
Michigan 4.7% 0.4% -0.4% -2.6% 44 1.3% 57,100 0.4% 19,000 4.3% 180,600
Minnesota 3.1% -0.6% -0.9% -1.6% 11 1.3% 37,300 0.1% 3200 6.8% 189,000
Mississippi 4.6% -0.6% -0.9% -1.3% 38 1.6% 17,800 1.0% 11300 0.2% 2,500
Missouri 3.5% -0.3% -0.9% -1.9% 17 0.8% 22,800 0.2% 4,500 3.3% 92,200
Montana 4.1% 0.2% 0.1% -0.1% 28 1.8% 8,300 1.2% 5,900 7.5% 33,600
Nebraska 2.7% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 4 1.1% 10,900 -0.1% -1,200 6.7% 65,200
Nevada 5.0% 0.1% -0.1% -0.1% 47 3.3% 43,800 1.2% 16,000 5.6% 73,000
New Hampshire 2.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.9% 3 0.8% 5,300 0.1% 800 4.5% 29,200
New Jersey 5.0% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 46 0.6% 22,900 0.1% 2,600 1.0% 40,500
New Mexico 6.0% -0.2% -0.7% 2.0% 49 1.2% 10,400 0.5% 4,200 -0.3% -2,400
New York 4.6% -0.3% -0.2% -0.3% 37 1.0% 98,300 0.2% 18,600 9.0% 787,300
North Carolina 4.5% 0.4% -0.7% -0.5% 35 1.7% 75,000 0.7% 29,800 6.9% 289,500
North Dakota 2.6% 0.2% -0.4% -0.5% 2 0.4% 1,800 -1.0% -4,600 20.3% 73,600
Ohio 4.7% -0.6% -0.3% -1.0% 43 0.7% 38,500 -0.1% -4,400 2.3% 124,100
Oklahoma 4.1% -0.4% -0.7% 0.5% 27 1.2% 20,400 0.2% 2600 4.0% 64,100
Oregon 4.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.2% 26 2.7% 49,300 1.2% 22,300 9.4% 164,200
Pennsylvania 4.7% -0.1% -0.7% -0.1% 42 1.3% 78,400 0.3% 16,600 3.2% 183,200
Rhode Island 4.4% 0.2% -0.5% -1.7% 31 1.2% 6,000 0.3% 1,300 1.9% 9,500
South Carolina 4.1% 0.2% -0.2% -1.6% 25 2.2% 46,500 1.2% 24,800 8.6% 167,900
South Dakota 3.5% 0.1% 0.6% 0.8% 16 0.9% 4000 0.5% 2100 7.6% 31,200
Tennessee 3.2% 0.2% -1.9% -2.3% 13 1.0% 28,700 -0.1% -2,900 7.8% 218,200
Texas 3.9% -0.1% -0.9% -0.4% 23 2.5% 306,900 1.0% 121,300 17.8% 1,882,400
Utah 3.1% -0.3% -0.1% 0.1% 10 2.6% 37,900 0.5% 7,400 17.6% 222,100
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.4% -1.4% 5 0.8% 2500 -0.4% -1200 2.6% 7,900
Virginia 3.7% 0.0% -0.4% 0.2% 20 0.8% 30,200 -0.3% -12,400 5.0% 189,500
Washington 4.5% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 34 2.1% 68,500 0.7% 23,500 12.1% 362,900
West Virginia 5.5% 0.4% -0.3% 0.8% 48 0.2% 1300 0.2% 1,200 -1.6% -12,100
Wisconsin 3.0% -0.5% -1.1% -1.8% 8 1.4% 40,200 0.4% 12,500 3.4% 96,900
Wyoming 4.2% 0.2% -0.6% 1.4% 29 0.4% 1,100 0.9% 2,400 -5.6% -16,400

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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