Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Press release

Updated October 2017

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.

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 3.8% -0.8% -2.2% -0.6% 22 1.5% 29,900 0.0% -700 -0.2% -4,300
Alaska 7.2% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 51 0.2% 700 -0.5% -1,800 3.6% 11,600
Arizona 4.7% -0.4% -0.4% 0.3% 37 1.3% 34,700 0.5% 14,400 3.2% 86,000
Arkansas 3.5% 0.1% -0.5% -1.7% 13 2.0% 24,400 0.1% 900 3.9% 47,200
California 5.1% 0.4% -0.2% -0.9% 45 1.7% 280,300 0.8% 129,000 8.7% 1,352,700
Colorado 2.5% 0.2% -0.7% -1.6% 3 1.6% 41,300 0.4% 11,400 13.0% 305,700
Connecticut 4.6% -0.4% -0.2% -0.3% 35 0.2% 3,500 -0.5% -7900 -1.2% -20,400
Delaware 4.9% 0.2% 0.6% 1.2% 41 0.6% 2,800 0.5% 2300 3.7% 16,300
Washington D.C. 6.5% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 50 0.9% 6,900 -0.3% -2,100 12.9% 90,200
Florida 3.8% -0.3% -1.1% -1.1% 21 0.7% 62,400 -1.0% -82,500 7.4% 587,300
Georgia 4.5% -0.3% -0.9% -0.6% 33 1.9% 84,100 0.1% 3,300 7.8% 326,900
Hawaii 2.5% -0.3% -0.5% -0.7% 2 1.2% 8,100 0.7% 4,600 5.0% 31,100
Idaho 2.8% -0.3% -1.0% -0.4% 6 2.1% 15,000 0.9% 6,200 8.9% 58,400
Illinois 5.0% 0.3% -0.8% -0.5% 42 0.1% 3,700 -0.2% -12,800 0.8% 48,900
Indiana 3.8% 0.8% -0.5% -1.0% 20 1.0% 32,500 0.5% 16,000 4.7% 140,800
Iowa 3.2% 0.0% -0.4% -0.5% 9 0.9% 14,200 0.0% -100 4.0% 61,400
Kansas 3.8% 0.1% -0.5% -0.5% 19 -0.4% -5,100 0.8% 10,700 1.7% 23,700
Kentucky 5.2% 0.1% 0.2% -0.3% 47 1.6% 30,200 0.7% 13,900 5.0% 92,100
Louisiana 5.1% -0.3% -1.0% 1.0% 44 0.7% 14,700 -0.4% -7700 2.3% 45,400
Maine 3.7% 0.2% -0.3% -1.2% 16 0.6% 3,400 -0.3% -2100 0.1% 500
Maryland 3.8% -0.3% -0.4% 0.4% 18 2.4% 64,100 0.7% 20,200 6.1% 160,400
Massachusetts 3.9% -0.4% 0.6% -0.7% 25 1.7% 62,300 0.5% 19,800 9.6% 318,900
Michigan 4.3% 0.5% -0.7% -3.0% 31 1.4% 62,000 0.4% 16,700 3.7% 157,400
Minnesota 3.7% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 15 1.8% 52,200 0.1% 3,200 6.7% 185,600
Mississippi 5.2% 0.2% -0.5% -0.7% 46 0.6% 6,500 0.2% 2,200 -0.6% -6,800
Missouri 3.8% 0.0% -0.9% -1.6% 17 1.3% 38,300 0.0% -100 3.1% 86,600
Montana 3.9% 0.0% -0.2% -0.3% 24 1.2% 5,800 0.2% 800 6.3% 28,100
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.5% -0.2% 5 1.5% 15,400 0.3% 3,400 6.8% 65,600
Nevada 4.9% 0.2% -0.5% -0.2% 40 2.5% 32,300 0.8% 10,600 4.3% 55,900
New Hampshire 2.7% -0.2% -0.1% -0.8% 4 1.3% 8,900 0.3% 2,000 4.5% 29,200
New Jersey 4.7% 0.6% -0.2% 0.1% 36 0.7% 28,500 0.0% 1,700 0.9% 38,100
New Mexico 6.2% -0.2% -0.6% 2.2% 49 1.0% 7,900 0.5% 4,200 -1.3% -10,700
New York 4.9% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 39 1.0% 93,100 -0.1% -13,600 8.6% 750,300
North Carolina 4.1% -0.1% -1.0% -0.9% 28 1.4% 61,400 0.4% 16,900 6.1% 254,300
North Dakota 2.4% 0.1% -0.7% -0.7% 1 1.4% 5,900 0.1% 500 21.6% 78,100
Ohio 5.3% 0.3% 0.3% -0.4% 48 1.1% 61,600 0.4% 20,500 2.6% 138,900
Oklahoma 4.5% 0.2% -0.5% 0.9% 32 1.1% 17,700 0.6% 9,400 3.7% 59,700
Oregon 4.2% 0.5% -0.7% -1.1% 30 1.9% 34,900 -0.2% -3,400 8.0% 139,200
Pennsylvania 4.8% -0.2% -0.7% 0.0% 38 1.1% 66,600 0.8% 45,600 2.7% 158,900
Rhode Island 4.2% 0.0% -1.1% -1.9% 29 0.9% 4,500 -0.2% -1,000 1.5% 7,300
South Carolina 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% -1.8% 23 1.4% 28,100 0.3% 7,100 7.3% 142,100
South Dakota 3.4% 0.4% 0.5% 0.7% 11 0.7% 3,200 0.3% 1100 7.1% 28,800
Tennessee 3.0% -0.6% -1.9% -2.5% 8 1.5% 44,200 0.3% 10,400 7.9% 222,000
Texas 4.0% -0.6% -0.7% -0.3% 27 2.1% 256,100 0.1% 14,400 16.7% 1,758,800
Utah 3.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.4% 10 2.5% 36,400 0.5% 6,800 16.6% 210,500
Vermont 2.9% -0.3% -0.3% -1.3% 7 1.0% 3300 0.8% 2,600 2.9% 9,100
Virginia 3.7% 0.0% -0.4% 0.2% 14 1.1% 42,400 0.1% 3,500 5.1% 194,100
Washington 4.6% 0.1% -0.7% -0.2% 34 2.2% 71,300 0.7% 22,100 11.4% 341,900
West Virginia 5.1% 0.5% -0.8% 0.4% 43 0.4% 3000 0.0% 100 -1.8% -13,400
Wisconsin 3.5% 0.4% -0.7% -1.3% 12 1.2% 34,600 0.2% 7,300 2.8% 80,800
Wyoming 4.0% 0.1% -1.1% 1.2% 26 -1.1% -3,100 -0.6% -1,800 -6.5% -19,100

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.