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News from EPI Most state labor markets improve in May, a handful continue to see rising unemployment and slow job growth

The State and Regional Employment report for May, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed steady improvement in most states’ labor markets, while a handful of states continue to experience unemployment increases and slow job growth.

From February to May, 30 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with North Dakota (1.0 percent), Utah (0.8 percent), District of Columbia (0.6 percent), Hawaii (0.6 percent) and Oregon (0.6 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, employment fell in 20 states. Of those states, West Virginia (-0.7 percent), Kansas (-0.6 percent), New Jersey (-0.6 percent), and Vermont (-0.6 percent) had the largest losses.

From February to May, the unemployment rate fell in 35 states. Tennessee (-1.3 percent), Michigan (-1.1 percent), Indiana (-0.9 percent), and Illinois (-0.8 percent) saw the largest declines unemployment. Over those same months, the unemployment rate increased in eight states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in unemployment occurred in Massachusetts (0.8 percent), District of Columbia (0.3 percent), Connecticut (0.2 percent), Delaware (0.2 percent), and New Hampshire (0.2 percent). In seven states, the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged.

Figure 1

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 3.9% -0.2% 0.1% -0.4% 29 2.2% 43,600 0.9% 17,600 1.6% 32,600
Alaska 6.3% -0.2% -0.9% -0.1% 51 -0.1% -400 -0.3% -1100 2.2% 7,100
Arizona 4.8% 0.2% 0.1% 0.5% 47 3.4% 94,100 0.5% 13,900 7.8% 209,700
Arkansas 3.6% 0.1% -0.1% -1.5% 21 1.4% 17,100 0.2% 2,600 4.0% 48,700
California 4.2% 0.1% -0.3% -1.7% 38 1.7% 284,300 0.5% 87,000 11.7% 1,807,300
Colorado 3.5% 0.4% 0.5% -0.6% 20 2.8% 75,400 0.7% 19,900 17.5% 412,000
Connecticut 4.0% -0.2% -0.5% -0.9% 33 1.2% 19,900 0.3% 5,100 0.0% 200
Delaware 3.7% -0.3% -0.8% 0.0% 26 2.2% 10,200 0.6% 2,700 5.6% 24,800
Washington D.C. 5.5% -0.2% -0.4% -0.1% 50 0.3% 2300 0.1% 800 13.7% 96,200
Florida 3.3% -0.2% -0.6% -1.4% 15 2.7% 231,200 0.7% 61,700 12.1% 959,500
Georgia 3.6% -0.1% -0.9% -1.4% 22 2.5% 113,800 0.6% 27,600 10.3% 430,700
Hawaii 2.5% 0.3% 0.4% -0.6% 2 1.4% 9,500 0.3% 2,100 6.2% 38,800
Idaho 2.6% -0.1% -0.4% -0.5% 4 2.0% 14,500 0.6% 4100 13.2% 86,400
Illinois 4.3% 0.2% -0.6% -1.1% 40 1.2% 71,000 0.5% 28,400 2.8% 167,000
Indiana 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.1% 23 1.4% 44,500 0.7% 23,400 5.5% 166,100
Iowa 2.4% -0.1% -0.5% -1.3% 1 1.0% 15,500 0.4% 6700 4.8% 72,900
Kansas 3.3% 0.0% -0.2% -1.0% 16 1.4% 20,100 0.4% 6,400 3.2% 44,600
Kentucky 4.4% -0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 42 1.1% 21,300 0.6% 11,100 4.7% 87,300
Louisiana 4.9% -0.1% 0.2% 0.7% 48 1.1% 21,900 0.1% 2,500 2.9% 56,900
Maine 3.4% 0.1% 0.3% -1.4% 19 0.7% 4,300 -0.2% -1000 1.2% 7,400
Maryland 3.9% -0.3% -0.2% 0.6% 30 1.9% 50,900 0.6% 16,100 5.8% 151,200
Massachusetts 3.3% -0.3% -0.2% -1.3% 17 1.8% 65,800 0.4% 15,300 11.3% 375,600
Michigan 4.0% 0.0% -0.7% -3.2% 34 1.3% 55,000 0.3% 11,800 4.8% 203,400
Minnesota 2.8% 0.0% -0.5% -1.9% 7 1.1% 32,200 0.0% 1,200 7.4% 206,300
Mississippi 4.7% -0.1% -0.1% -1.1% 45 0.9% 11,000 0.4% 4,900 1.1% 12,600
Missouri 3.1% -0.1% -0.6% -2.3% 12 1.4% 39,000 0.2% 6,400 4.2% 117,300
Montana 3.7% 0.1% -0.4% -0.5% 27 1.0% 4,700 0.4% 1,800 7.8% 35,000
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 8 1.2% 12,700 0.0% 500 6.8% 66,200
Nevada 4.4% -0.1% -0.5% -0.6% 43 3.9% 52,400 1.4% 19,400 9.3% 119,600
New Hampshire 2.5% -0.2% -0.1% -1.0% 3 2.7% 18,100 0.7% 5,100 7.1% 46,300
New Jersey 4.0% -0.2% -0.7% -0.5% 35 1.5% 61,900 0.3% 12,800 3.0% 124,400
New Mexico 4.7% 0.1% -1.3% 0.8% 46 2.4% 19,900 0.4% 3,100 0.8% 6,500
New York 3.9% -0.2% -0.8% -0.9% 31 1.3% 121,900 0.5% 48,100 10.6% 925,600
North Carolina 3.6% -0.2% -0.9% -1.3% 24 2.0% 87,200 0.6% 25,400 8.9% 371,700
North Dakota 2.7% 0.0% 0.1% -0.3% 5 2.1% 9,000 0.0% 200 20.2% 73,200
Ohio 4.6% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 44 2.1% 116,500 0.3% 14,500 4.3% 232,700
Oklahoma 3.2% -0.3% -0.9% -0.4% 13 1.5% 25,500 0.2% 3,700 6.0% 96,900
Oregon 4.1% 0.3% 0.0% -1.2% 36 1.9% 35,100 0.3% 4,900 11.2% 194,000
Pennsylvania 4.2% 0.1% -0.6% -0.5% 39 1.2% 74,800 0.4% 23,500 4.4% 256,800
Rhode Island 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% -2.1% 32 1.4% 7,100 0.5% 2400 3.5% 17,200
South Carolina 3.3% 0.0% -0.9% -2.3% 18 2.0% 41,200 1.7% 36,100 10.4% 202,200
South Dakota 2.9% -0.1% -0.5% 0.2% 10 2.0% 8,800 1.1% 4,700 9.5% 38,800
Tennessee 3.6% 0.0% 0.3% -1.8% 25 2.0% 59,100 0.3% 7,700 10.0% 281,800
Texas 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -0.6% 28 3.2% 391,800 0.7% 90,700 20.7% 2,182,000
Utah 3.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 14 3.1% 46,400 0.8% 11,900 21.5% 271,500
Vermont 2.7% -0.2% -0.2% -1.5% 6 -0.1% -200 0.2% 600 1.6% 4,800
Virginia 2.8% -0.1% -0.8% -0.5% 9 1.9% 77,000 0.2% 6,100 6.7% 254,100
Washington 4.3% -0.1% -0.4% -0.4% 41 3.1% 104,000 0.8% 26,400 15.9% 477,600
West Virginia 5.1% -0.1% -0.3% 0.5% 49 0.6% 4,700 0.2% 1,300 -0.9% -6,900
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.0% -0.2% -1.7% 11 1.6% 48,300 0.7% 19,400 4.3% 123,900
Wyoming 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 37 2.8% 8,000 1.0% 2,800 -1.2% -3,600

Jobs refers to the total number of jobs, part-time or full-time, in nonfarm establishments.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics' Local Area Unemployment Statistics data

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