State-level data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show continued growth in employment in most states, though the weaker employment patterns seen in national data give reason to temper optimism at the state level. Over the three-month period from December 2011 to March 2012, five states (Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island and South Dakota) experienced job loss.
Over the course of the past year (March 2011 to March 2012), five states experienced job growth exceeding 2.0 percent, led by North Dakota, with employment growth of 6.5 percent. Four states (Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island and Wisconsin) lost jobs over this period, led by Wisconsin’s loss of 23,900 jobs (-0.9 percent).
The number of states with unemployment rates greater than 10.0 percent has now declined to three – Nevada, Rhode Island and California – while another five states and the District of Columbia have rates greater than 9 percent.
Recent EPI analysis highlights the extent to which state economic recovery is vulnerable to decisions made at the national level. Both state and national leaders can ensure that economic recovery occurs in every state by investing in critical infrastructure, such as transportation networks and schools, while avoiding budget cuts that impede economic recovery today and compromise future economic prosperity.