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News from EPI Unemployment falls as a majority of states see job growth

The State and Regional Employment report for October, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a majority of states added jobs and experienced decreases in unemployment rates. From July to October, 32 states added jobs, with New Mexico (1.3 percent), Idaho (1.1 percent), Utah (0.9 percent), Arizona (0.7 percent), and South Carolina (0.7 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, job loss occurred in 18 states and the District of Columbia, up from 13 states in last month’s report. The largest job losses occurred in Rhode Island (-0.8 percent), North Dakota (-0.7 percent), Connecticut (-0.6 percent), Maine (-0.5 percent) and Wyoming (-0.5 percent).

“Most states continued their slow-but-steady progress toward a full recovery, but we need more states to see job gains and lower unemployment rates before we can truly say we’re out of the woods,” said EPI analyst Janelle Jones. “Rather than cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, Congress should look for ways to aid economic recovery in the states.”

From July to October, employment rates fell in 28 states. Alabama (-0.9 percentage points), Arizona (-0.6 percentage points), Massachusetts (-0.6 percentage points), and Hawaii (-0.5 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment. Over the same months, the unemployment rate increased in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Indiana (0.8 percentage points), Michigan (0.8 percentage points), New Jersey (0.7 percentage points), and Oregon (0.5 percentage points). In sex states the unemployment rate remained unchanged: Delaware, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington.

August

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 3.6% -0.9% -2.5% -0.8% 20 1.5% 29,200 0.2% 4,500 -0.1% -1,200
Alaska 7.2% 0.2% 0.6% 0.8% 51 0.1% 300 -0.2% (800) 3.7% 11,900
Arizona 4.5% -0.6% -0.5% 0.1% 36 1.2% 31,500 0.7% 18,600 3.1% 83,000
Arkansas 3.6% 0.2% -0.4% -1.6% 19 1.9% 23,500 -0.1% (900) 4.2% 50,800
California 4.9% 0.1% -0.4% -1.1% 44 1.5% 256,800 0.4% 74,300 8.9% 1,382,500
Colorado 2.7% 0.3% -0.4% -1.4% 5 1.4% 37,800 0.3% 8,100 13.1% 308,500
Connecticut 4.5% -0.5% -0.1% -0.4% 35 0.1% 1,400 -0.6% (10,500) -1.4% -24,700
Delaware 4.8% 0.0% 0.5% 1.1% 40 0.7% 3,200 0.2% 800 3.7% 16,400
Washington D.C. 6.6% 0.2% 0.8% 0.9% 50 0.9% 7,400 -0.3% (2,700) 13.4% 93,700
Florida 3.6% -0.5% -1.3% -1.3% 18 2.3% 197,500 0.3% 25,300 9.1% 723,300
Georgia 4.3% -0.4% -1.1% -0.8% 31 2.0% 87,800 0.4% 19,700 8.1% 339,800
Hawaii 2.2% -0.5% -0.7% -1.0% 1 1.1% 7,100 0.0% (300) 4.8% 30,100
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -0.8% -0.3% 7 2.4% 16,700 1.1% 7,700 9.6% 62,800
Illinois 4.9% 0.1% -0.9% -0.6% 43 0.3% 17,800 -0.1% (7,100) 0.9% 55,200
Indiana 3.9% 0.8% -0.3% -0.9% 26 0.9% 29,400 0.1% 3,400 4.6% 136,700
Iowa 3.0% -0.2% -0.6% -0.7% 9 0.9% 13,500 -0.1% (1,100) 4.0% 61,500
Kansas 3.6% -0.1% -0.7% -0.7% 17 -0.4% -5,200 0.4% 6,000 1.5% 20,300
Kentucky 5.0% -0.4% 0.1% -0.5% 46 1.5% 28,600 0.5% 10,400 4.9% 91,400
Louisiana 4.8% -0.5% -1.3% 0.7% 39 0.4% 8,600 -0.2% (4,100) 2.2% 42,700
Maine 3.5% -0.2% -0.4% -1.4% 15 0.8% 5,200 -0.5% (3,300) 0.1% 500
Maryland 3.8% -0.2% -0.4% 0.4% 22 2.0% 54,400 0.4% 12,100 5.9% 155,700
Massachusetts 3.7% -0.6% 0.5% -0.9% 21 1.9% 69,000 0.6% 23,100 9.8% 324,700
Michigan 4.5% 0.8% -0.5% -2.8% 34 1.0% 45,100 0.4% 18,900 3.9% 164,600
Minnesota 3.3% -0.4% -0.7% -1.4% 11 1.5% 42,600 -0.1% (3,700) 6.5% 181,300
Mississippi 4.9% -0.3% -0.8% -1.0% 42 0.6% 6,500 0.0% 100 -0.6% -6,700
Missouri 3.5% -0.3% -1.1% -1.9% 14 1.1% 30,700 -0.3% (9,400) 3.2% 88,700
Montana 3.9% 0.0% -0.1% -0.3% 25 1.2% 5,800 0.5% 2,200 6.5% 29,000
Nebraska 2.7% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 4 1.0% 9,800 -0.2% (2,200) 6.2% 59,800
Nevada 5.0% 0.2% -0.3% -0.1% 45 2.8% 36,600 0.5% 6,700 4.6% 59,800
New Hampshire 2.7% -0.1% -0.1% -0.8% 3 0.9% 6,300 0.0% 200 4.8% 30,900
New Jersey 4.9% 0.7% 0.1% 0.3% 41 0.7% 30,000 -0.1% (3,500) 1.0% 39,600
New Mexico 6.1% -0.2% -0.7% 2.1% 49 1.6% 13,200 1.3% 10,500 -0.6% -5,200
New York 4.8% 0.1% -0.1% -0.1% 38 1.1% 102,600 -0.3% (24,400) 8.6% 754,100
North Carolina 4.1% 0.0% -1.0% -0.9% 27 1.7% 75,200 0.6% 24,700 6.5% 271,100
North Dakota 2.5% 0.2% -0.5% -0.6% 2 0.6% 2,600 -0.7% (3,300) 21.0% 76,000
Ohio 5.1% -0.1% 0.1% -0.6% 48 1.1% 59,400 0.2% 10,900 2.5% 132,800
Oklahoma 4.4% 0.0% -0.5% 0.8% 32 1.2% 20,200 0.4% 7,100 4.1% 65,700
Oregon 4.3% 0.5% -0.4% -1.0% 30 2.5% 46,300 0.2% 3,500 8.8% 153,500
Pennsylvania 4.7% -0.3% -0.8% -0.1% 37 1.1% 65,800 0.2% 12,100 2.8% 162,300
Rhode Island 4.2% -0.1% -0.9% -1.9% 29 0.9% 4,600 -0.8% (3,900) 1.6% 8,000
South Carolina 3.9% 0.0% -0.5% -1.8% 24 2.1% 42,500 0.7% 13,800 7.9% 153,200
South Dakota 3.5% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 13 0.1% 600 -0.2% (800) 6.5% 26,700
Tennessee 3.0% -0.4% -2.0% -2.5% 8 1.2% 34,800 0.1% 4,000 7.8% 218,800
Texas 3.9% -0.4% -0.9% -0.4% 23 2.6% 316,100 0.5% 66,500 17.4% 1,832,600
Utah 3.3% -0.2% 0.1% 0.3% 10 2.7% 39,000 0.9% 13,300 17.1% 216,500
Vermont 2.9% -0.2% -0.3% -1.3% 6 1.0% 3200 0.2% 500 2.8% 8,600
Virginia 3.6% -0.2% -0.5% 0.1% 16 0.9% 33,700 -0.1% (5,900) 5.2% 196,100
Washington 4.5% 0.0% -0.8% -0.3% 33 2.1% 68,500 0.6% 21,300 11.6% 346,300
West Virginia 5.1% 0.4% -0.8% 0.4% 47 0.4% 3200 0.2% 1,400 -1.5% -11,500
Wisconsin 3.4% 0.2% -0.8% -1.4% 12 1.4% 42,400 0.5% 15,600 3.3% 94,900
Wyoming 4.2% 0.2% -0.8% 1.4% 28 -0.5% -1,400 -0.5% (1,400) -6.4% -18,700

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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