Press Releases

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 3.7% -0.1% -1.6% -0.6% 19 0.8% 16,900 0.5% 9,300 -0.1% -1,900
Alaska 7.3% 0.1% 0.3% 0.9% 51 -0.4% -1400 0.9% 2900 3.3% 10,400
Arizona 4.9% 0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 46 2.3% 61,900 0.7% 19,800 4.9% 131,300
Arkansas 3.8% 0.1% 0.2% -1.3% 21 0.2% 2,500 -0.2% -2500 2.7% 32,000
California 4.3% -0.2% -0.8% -1.6% 30 2.3% 383,600 0.6% 97,900 10.2% 1,585,900
Colorado 3.0% 0.0% 0.3% -1.1% 9 2.4% 63,400 0.8% 21,100 15.0% 351,600
Connecticut 4.6% 0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 39 0.5% 8100 0.7% 12,100 -0.8% -13,300
Delaware 4.4% -0.1% -0.2% 0.7% 31 -0.1% -300 -0.1% -400 3.6% 15,900
Washington D.C. 5.7% -0.2% -0.4% 0.1% 49 0.9% 7,100 0.2% 1300 13.5% 94,700
Florida 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% -0.8% 22 2.0% 167,800 0.8% 68,000 9.7% 767,700
Georgia 4.5% 0.0% -0.7% -0.5% 33 2.0% 88,200 0.7% 32,500 8.3% 344,400
Hawaii 2.1% 0.0% -0.6% -1.0% 1 1.4% 8,900 1.3% 8500 5.4% 33,600
Idaho 3.0% 0.0% -0.4% -0.1% 10 3.4% 24,000 0.8% 6,100 11.6% 76,000
Illinois 4.7% -0.2% -0.4% -0.7% 42 0.8% 48,700 0.2% 13200 1.8% 109,900
Indiana 3.2% -0.2% -0.5% -1.5% 12 1.0% 30,900 0.5% 14,900 4.4% 132,900
Iowa 2.9% 0.0% -0.5% -0.8% 6 0.6% 9,900 0.4% 5,600 3.8% 57,500
Kansas 3.4% -0.1% -0.4% -0.9% 14 0.5% 7,700 0.3% 4,100 1.9% 26,200
Kentucky 4.1% -0.4% -1.0% -1.3% 25 0.4% 7,200 0.2% 4500 3.8% 69,700
Louisiana 4.5% -0.2% -1.2% 0.3% 34 0.0% -200 0.3% 6400 2.0% 39,100
Maine 2.9% -0.2% -0.4% -1.9% 7 0.6% 3600 0.6% 3,900 0.9% 5400
Maryland 4.2% 0.1% -0.1% 0.9% 29 0.1% 4,000 0.0% 600 4.3% 111,900
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.4% -1.1% 17 1.1% 39,100 0.3% 10,400 9.6% 317,600
Michigan 4.8% 0.1% 0.0% -2.4% 44 1.2% 52,000 0.5% 21,600 3.9% 164,500
Minnesota 3.2% -0.1% -0.5% -1.5% 13 0.7% 21,700 0.2% 6100 6.4% 177,700
Mississippi 4.5% -0.3% -0.9% -1.3% 35 1.2% 14,300 0.4% 5000 0.3% 3,300
Missouri 3.7% 0.1% -0.3% -1.7% 20 1.0% 27,300 0.4% 11,800 3.2% 89,000
Montana 4.1% 0.0% 0.1% -0.1% 26 1.1% 5,300 0.4% 2,100 6.7% 29,800
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.2% -0.2% 4 0.2% 1,700 0.2% 2,300 5.6% 54,000
Nevada 4.9% 0.0% -0.3% -0.1% 47 3.2% 43,000 1.3% 17,600 6.1% 78,300
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.0% -0.2% -0.9% 2 1.4% 9,400 0.4% 2900 5.1% 33,100
New Jersey 4.6% -0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 40 1.5% 63,200 0.7% 27,500 2.3% 93,700
New Mexico 5.8% -0.2% -0.6% 1.9% 50 1.4% 11,300 0.5% 4,000 -1.0% -8,900
New York 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 41 1.2% 109,600 0.4% 34,300 9.5% 832,600
North Carolina 4.5% 0.0% -0.3% -0.4% 36 1.6% 71,300 0.7% 30,400 7.3% 302,900
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% -0.1% -0.4% 3 -1.6% -6,800 -0.4% -1,900 17.4% 63,100
Ohio 4.5% -0.4% -0.6% -1.1% 37 0.8% 46,500 0.6% 33,900 2.7% 148,300
Oklahoma 4.1% 0.0% -0.5% 0.5% 27 1.9% 31,300 0.3% 5000 4.6% 74,500
Oregon 4.1% -0.1% 0.0% -1.2% 28 2.3% 43,700 0.9% 17,400 9.6% 166,500
Pennsylvania 4.8% 0.0% -0.3% 0.1% 45 1.4% 81,400 0.5% 29,100 3.3% 194,300
Rhode Island 4.5% 0.0% 0.0% -1.5% 38 1.3% 6,300 0.3% 1300 2.3% 11,100
South Carolina 4.4% 0.2% 0.0% -1.2% 32 1.6% 33,800 0.7% 15,100 8.8% 171,300
South Dakota 3.4% 0.0% 0.2% 0.7% 15 1.4% 6100 0.7% 3100 7.8% 31,700
Tennessee 3.4% 0.1% -1.0% -2.0% 16 1.5% 45,000 0.6% 17500 8.6% 241,500
Texas 4.0% 0.1% -0.7% -0.3% 23 2.3% 285,200 0.7% 84,400 17.6% 1,860,300
Utah 3.1% -0.1% -0.2% 0.2% 11 3.2% 46,200 0.9% 13,300 18.5% 233,800
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -1.4% 5 0.1% 300 -0.2% -700 1.7% 5,300
Virginia 3.5% -0.1% -0.5% 0.2% 18 0.9% 36,300 0.7% 29,100 5.5% 208,700
Washington 4.7% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0% 43 2.9% 96,800 0.8% 27,800 13.1% 392,800
West Virginia 5.4% 0.0% 0.3% 0.8% 48 1.0% 7300 0.7% 5,300 -1.0% -7,800
Wisconsin 2.9% -0.3% -0.5% -1.8% 8 0.7% 19,200 0.6% 16,800 3.0% 85,300
Wyoming 4.0% -0.2% -0.5% 1.2% 24 1.7% 4,700 1.2% 3,400 -3.3% -9,600

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

Copy the code below to embed this chart on your website.