Economic Indicators | Jobs and Unemployment

State recoveries continue, but smart policy choices remain critical

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Monthly state employment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the economy making up lost ground across all regions of the country. The number of states in which overall employment is down in the preceding three-month period (July 2012 to October 2012) continues to decline—10 in this month’s report, compared with 14 in the September report and 22 in the August report. All regions of the country saw significant employment growth, with the South and West leading, each with 0.5 percent job growth over the preceding three months (and 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent growth, respectively, over the preceding year).

MORE: Graphs and data from the latest employment and unemployment numbers on EPI’s State of Working America

Three states—Nevada, Rhode Island and California—continue to have unemployment rates greater than 10.0 percent, and another four states have rates exceeding 9.0 percent (down from six in last month’s report).

Sustained economic recovery is tenuous in every state, however, with policy makers at the federal level failing to address job creation head-on. Until the nation returns to full employment, any efforts to address the nation’s long-term deficit situation will be counterproductive at best. Instead, policy choices such as investing in America’s economy and maintaining funding for extended unemployment insurance will keep states on a positive path to full economic recovery.

See more work by Doug Hall