Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Press release

Updated January 2018

The unemployment rate and the change in the number of jobs are important indicators of state labor market health. The unemployment rate is the share of the state’s labor force that is not currently employed and is actively looking for work. Healthy job growth is growth that provides regular employment for all individuals wanting a job. 

The map below shows the current unemployment rate in each state, and the percent change in the number of jobs in each state over the preceding 12 months. Clicking on a state will also show the change in that state’s unemployment rate or change in the number of jobs over the last 3 months, 12 months, and since December 2007—the peak of the previous business cycle.

December

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 3.5% -0.3% -2.8% -0.9% 19 1.7% 34,100 0.3% 5,600 0.2% 4,400
Alaska 7.3% 0.1% 0.7% 0.9% 51 -0.7% -2200 -1.2% -3900 2.6% 8,200
Arizona 4.5% -0.2% -0.5% 0.1% 36 1.3% 35,000 0.1% 3,300 3.4% 90,900
Arkansas 3.7% 0.2% -0.2% -1.5% 22 0.9% 11,300 -0.5% -6500 3.4% 41,200
California 4.3% -0.8% -0.9% -1.7% 30 2.1% 342,500 0.9% 151,800 9.7% 1,502,600
Colorado 3.1% 0.6% 0.1% -1.0% 12 2.0% 53,200 0.5% 13,900 13.7% 321,000
Connecticut 4.6% 0.0% 0.2% -0.3% 41 0.5% 7700 -0.1% -2,000 -1.2% -20,100
Delaware 4.6% -0.3% 0.3% 0.9% 40 -0.1% -600 -0.7% -3300 3.0% 13,100
Washington D.C. 6.0% -0.5% 0.3% 0.3% 50 1.0% 8,000 0.2% 1500 13.6% 95,500
Florida 3.7% -0.1% -1.2% -1.2% 21 2.5% 213,500 2.1% 176,100 9.8% 774,100
Georgia 4.4% 0.0% -1.1% -0.7% 33 1.9% 83,200 0.5% 24,600 8.4% 348,600
Hawaii 2.0% -0.5% -0.9% -1.2% 1 1.1% 7,200 0.1% 700 5.0% 31,300
Idaho 2.9% 0.1% -0.7% -0.3% 7 2.1% 14,700 0.9% 6,800 10.1% 66,000
Illinois 4.8% -0.2% -0.9% -0.7% 45 0.5% 29,600 0.2% 13900 1.1% 65,700
Indiana 3.4% -0.4% -0.6% -1.4% 15 0.9% 27,600 0.2% 7,100 4.8% 142,900
Iowa 2.8% -0.4% -0.7% -0.9% 6 1.8% 28,300 0.8% 13,400 4.9% 74,900
Kansas 3.4% -0.4% -0.9% -0.9% 14 0.4% 6,300 0.6% 8,000 2.2% 30,000
Kentucky 4.4% -0.8% -0.4% -1.1% 32 1.1% 21,200 0.1% 1,200 5.1% 94,500
Louisiana 4.6% -0.5% -1.4% 0.5% 39 0.3% 5,500 -0.3% -6,000 2.0% 39,500
Maine 3.0% -0.7% -0.8% -1.9% 9 0.8% 5,000 0.2% 1,200 0.3% 1900
Maryland 4.0% 0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 24 1.1% 31,400 -0.7% -19,500 5.4% 141,700
Massachusetts 3.5% -0.4% 0.4% -1.1% 18 1.8% 63,000 0.3% 10,700 10.0% 330,600
Michigan 4.7% 0.4% -0.4% -2.6% 44 1.3% 57,100 0.4% 19,000 4.3% 180,600
Minnesota 3.1% -0.6% -0.9% -1.6% 11 1.3% 37,300 0.1% 3200 6.8% 189,000
Mississippi 4.6% -0.6% -0.9% -1.3% 38 1.6% 17,800 1.0% 11300 0.2% 2,500
Missouri 3.5% -0.3% -0.9% -1.9% 17 0.8% 22,800 0.2% 4,500 3.3% 92,200
Montana 4.1% 0.2% 0.1% -0.1% 28 1.8% 8,300 1.2% 5,900 7.5% 33,600
Nebraska 2.7% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 4 1.1% 10,900 -0.1% -1,200 6.7% 65,200
Nevada 5.0% 0.1% -0.1% -0.1% 47 3.3% 43,800 1.2% 16,000 5.6% 73,000
New Hampshire 2.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.9% 3 0.8% 5,300 0.1% 800 4.5% 29,200
New Jersey 5.0% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 46 0.6% 22,900 0.1% 2,600 1.0% 40,500
New Mexico 6.0% -0.2% -0.7% 2.0% 49 1.2% 10,400 0.5% 4,200 -0.3% -2,400
New York 4.6% -0.3% -0.2% -0.3% 37 1.0% 98,300 0.2% 18,600 9.0% 787,300
North Carolina 4.5% 0.4% -0.7% -0.5% 35 1.7% 75,000 0.7% 29,800 6.9% 289,500
North Dakota 2.6% 0.2% -0.4% -0.5% 2 0.4% 1,800 -1.0% -4,600 20.3% 73,600
Ohio 4.7% -0.6% -0.3% -1.0% 43 0.7% 38,500 -0.1% -4,400 2.3% 124,100
Oklahoma 4.1% -0.4% -0.7% 0.5% 27 1.2% 20,400 0.2% 2600 4.0% 64,100
Oregon 4.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.2% 26 2.7% 49,300 1.2% 22,300 9.4% 164,200
Pennsylvania 4.7% -0.1% -0.7% -0.1% 42 1.3% 78,400 0.3% 16,600 3.2% 183,200
Rhode Island 4.4% 0.2% -0.5% -1.7% 31 1.2% 6,000 0.3% 1,300 1.9% 9,500
South Carolina 4.1% 0.2% -0.2% -1.6% 25 2.2% 46,500 1.2% 24,800 8.6% 167,900
South Dakota 3.5% 0.1% 0.6% 0.8% 16 0.9% 4000 0.5% 2100 7.6% 31,200
Tennessee 3.2% 0.2% -1.9% -2.3% 13 1.0% 28,700 -0.1% -2,900 7.8% 218,200
Texas 3.9% -0.1% -0.9% -0.4% 23 2.5% 306,900 1.0% 121,300 17.8% 1,882,400
Utah 3.1% -0.3% -0.1% 0.1% 10 2.6% 37,900 0.5% 7,400 17.6% 222,100
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.4% -1.4% 5 0.8% 2500 -0.4% -1200 2.6% 7,900
Virginia 3.7% 0.0% -0.4% 0.2% 20 0.8% 30,200 -0.3% -12,400 5.0% 189,500
Washington 4.5% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 34 2.1% 68,500 0.7% 23,500 12.1% 362,900
West Virginia 5.5% 0.4% -0.3% 0.8% 48 0.2% 1300 0.2% 1,200 -1.6% -12,100
Wisconsin 3.0% -0.5% -1.1% -1.8% 8 1.4% 40,200 0.4% 12,500 3.4% 96,900
Wyoming 4.2% 0.2% -0.6% 1.4% 29 0.4% 1,100 0.9% 2,400 -5.6% -16,400

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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When workers lose a job or cannot find work, they and their families lose wages and benefits, and the adverse effects may last a very long time as career trajectories are interrupted. When more workers are unemployed, it also depresses wage growth for those workers who have a job, since employers have little need to raise pay to attract or retain staff. Although the country remains on a positive trend of job growth and falling unemployment, many states still have rates of job growth that are leaving many unable to find work and paychecks failing behind. To ensure workers in every community have access to jobs and rising pay, policymakers should prioritize a full employment agenda.

Data come from the State and Regional Employment report, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Explore the map to see how these indicators differ across the country and read EPI’s recent research analyzing jobs and unemployment.