The July 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics state employment data released this morning echoes the national employment data for July, with continued but very slow employment growth and an economic recovery so weak that it will take several years to return to pre-recession employment rates.
From April 2013 to July 2013, 39 states saw gains in employment, with California (+51,300), Georgia (+43,000), and Michigan (+39,600) experiencing the largest net increases in jobs. North Dakota, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Iowa recorded the largest percentage gains, each at +1.1 percent. During the same period, 11 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs.
From April 2013 to July 2013, unemployment declined in 21 states, rose in 27 states and the District of Columbia, and remained unchanged in two states (Maine and North Carolina).
Unemployment rose notably in New England (0.4 percent increase) and the West South Central region (0.2 percent increase), and declined in the Mid-Atlantic region (-0.2 percent), and the Pacific region (-0.3 percent).
In July, there were two states—Nevada and Illinois—with unemployment rates of at least 9.0 percent, and eighteen states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates above the national average of 7.4 percent. In contrast, only eight states had unemployment rates below the pre-recession national average of 5.0 percent.
In the midst of this ongoing economic train-wreck, national and state policymakers need to redouble their efforts to create good jobs that put working families on a sound path to economic security.