Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI States show early signs of recovery

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 18th, 2010
Contact: Karen Conner or Eve Turow, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

Over the past three months, 43 states and Washington, D.C., have experienced job growth, while 38 states and D.C. have seen decreases in their unemployment rates, the most for both of these measures since the recession began.  “Unfortunately, many of these new jobs are temporary Census positions that will disappear over the summer,” said policy analyst Kai Filion.  “Furthermore, four states have lost more than nine percent of their jobs since the recession began: Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada. The recession has done severe damage to the economy, and we haven’t even come close to recovering from it yet. The sustainability and speed of this recovery depend on whether the federal government takes aggressive action to save and create jobs.”

While much attention has been given to states with unemployment rates higher than the national average, such as Nevada and Michigan, there are many states that, though boasting lower unemployment rates than the national average, are nearing record high rates for their own state. An example of this is Texas, shown in figure A.


Figure A. Monthly unemployment rate in Texas in the past four recessions

Source: EPI analysis of BLS data

Although the current downturn was slower to take hold in Texas, where the unemployment rate remained below 5% until August 2008, it has continued to increase since then. The previous recessionary high for Texas was in the winter of 1982-83, when the unemployment rate reached 8.4%. The rate last month was 8.3%, and remained there in May.

Figure B shows job loss in Texas over the past four recessions.

Source: EPI analysis of BLS data.

Texas was one of a few states that continued to gain jobs well into 2008 (Texas did not experience two months of consecutive job loss until November 2008) even as the nation’s job loss was accelerating. However, Texas lost a larger share of jobs in the current downturn than it did in the prior three recessions. Measured from the start of the recession to the employment trough, Texas lost 3% of its jobs in this recession, compared to 2.2% in the 2001 recession, 1.3% in the 1981 recession, and no job loss in the 1990 recession.  While jobs are starting to come back to Texas, the state has a long way to go before it fully recovers.

More state figures are available on EPI’s website, www.economytrack.org .

Unemployment rate by state, May 2010 compared to start of recession, December 2007 

Since December 2007

 

May, 2010

Unemployment Percentage Point Change

 

Job Loss (percent)

 

Unemployment

Nevada

8.8

 Nevada

-13.4%

Nevada

14.0%

Florida

7.0

 Arizona

-9.6%

Michigan

13.6%

Alabama

6.9

 Michigan

-9.3%

California

12.4%

California

6.6

 Florida

-9.2%

Rhode Island

12.3%

Michigan

6.5

 California

-8.4%

Florida

11.7%

Rhode Island

6.3

 Oregon

-8.2%

Mississippi

11.4%

Idaho

5.5

 Idaho

-7.9%

South Carolina

11.0%

Indiana

5.4

 Georgia

-7.7%

Alabama

10.8%

North Carolina

5.4

 Rhode Island

-7.5%

Illinois

10.8%

South Carolina

5.4

 Ohio

-6.8%

Ohio

10.7%

Oregon

5.4

 Alabama

-6.6%

Oregon

10.6%

Illinois

5.3

 Tennessee

-6.5%

District of Columbia

10.4%

Arizona

5.3

 Colorado

-6.1%

Kentucky

10.4%

Mississippi

5.3

 North Carolina

-6.0%

Tennessee

10.4%

New Jersey

5.2

 South Carolina

-6.0%

North Carolina

10.3%

Ohio

5.1

 Illinois

-5.9%

Georgia

10.2%

Georgia

5.1

 Indiana

-5.8%

Indiana

10.0%

Delaware

5.0

 New Mexico

-5.8%

New Jersey

9.7%

District of Columbia

4.9

 Mississippi

-5.8%

Arizona

9.6%

Kentucky

4.9

 Hawaii

-5.6%

Missouri

9.3%

Tennessee

4.9

 Utah

-5.6%

Massachusetts

9.2%

West Virginia

4.9

 New Jersey

-5.4%

Pennsylvania

9.1%

Massachusetts

4.8

 Wisconsin

-5.3%

Washington

9.1%

New Mexico

4.8

 Washington

-5.1%

Idaho

9.0%

Pennsylvania

4.6

 Delaware

-5.0%

Connecticut

8.9%

Washington

4.5

 Vermont

-4.9%

West Virginia

8.9%

Wyoming

4.2

 Maine

-4.9%

Delaware

8.8%

Utah

4.2

 Kentucky

-4.8%

New Mexico

8.4%

Missouri

4.0

 Connecticut

-4.8%

Alaska

8.3%

Connecticut

4.0

 Montana

-4.7%

New York

8.3%

Texas

3.9

 Missouri

-4.5%

Texas

8.3%

Virginia

3.9

 Minnesota

-4.3%

Wisconsin

8.2%

Colorado

3.7

 Arkansas

-3.9%

Colorado

8.0%

Maryland

3.7

 Kansas

-3.5%

Maine

8.0%

Wisconsin

3.7

 Massachusetts

-3.2%

Arkansas

7.7%

Hawaii

3.6

 Maryland

-3.2%

Utah

7.3%

New York

3.6

 Pennsylvania

-3.2%

Maryland

7.2%

Montana

3.3

 Iowa

-3.1%

Montana

7.2%

Maine

3.3

 Virginia

-3.0%

Virginia

7.1%

Louisiana

3.1

 Oklahoma

-2.9%

Minnesota

7.0%

Oklahoma

3.1

 New Hampshire

-2.9%

Wyoming

7.0%

New Hampshire

3.0

 Wyoming

-2.9%

Louisiana

6.9%

Iowa

2.9

 New York

-2.5%

Iowa

6.8%

Arkansas

2.7

 West Virginia

-2.4%

Oklahoma

6.7%

Kansas

2.5

 Nebraska

-2.0%

Hawaii

6.6%

Minnesota

2.3

 Louisiana

-1.8%

Kansas

6.5%

Vermont

2.2

 Texas

-1.6%

New Hampshire

6.4%

Alaska

2.1

 South Dakota

-1.6%

Vermont

6.2%

Nebraska

2.0

 Alaska

1.1%

Nebraska

4.9%

South Dakota

1.8

 District of Columbia

1.6%

South Dakota

4.6%

North Dakota

0.6

 North Dakota

2.5%

North Dakota

3.6%


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