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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 4.1% 0.3% -0.2% -0.2% 30 1.3% 26,700 0.6% 11,900 0.5% 11,000
Alaska 7.1% -0.2% -0.1% 0.7% 51 -1.0% -3200 -0.6% -2100 2.5% 7,900
Arizona 4.7% -0.2% -0.1% 0.4% 47 2.4% 66,100 0.8% 22,600 6.0% 161,500
Arkansas 3.8% 0.0% 0.1% -1.3% 24 0.6% 7,200 0.3% 3200 3.3% 40,400
California 4.2% -0.1% -0.6% -1.7% 33 1.6% 269,100 0.2% 33,600 10.4% 1,612,100
Colorado 2.7% -0.3% 0.0% -1.4% 5 2.8% 74,600 0.7% 19,800 16.1% 379,400
Connecticut 4.4% -0.1% -0.3% -0.5% 39 0.9% 14900 0.6% 10,300 -0.4% -6,500
Delaware 3.9% -0.4% -0.7% 0.2% 26 0.9% 4000 0.1% 400 4.3% 19,000
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.0% -0.6% 0.0% 50 0.4% 2,800 0.0% 100 13.3% 93,400
Florida 3.8% -0.1% -0.3% -0.9% 23 2.0% 170,500 0.4% 38,600 10.4% 827,700
Georgia 4.1% -0.3% -0.6% -0.9% 29 1.7% 77,300 0.7% 29,400 8.7% 363,000
Hawaii 2.1% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 1 1.5% 9,800 0.3% 1800 5.6% 35,400
Idaho 2.9% 0.0% -0.3% -0.2% 10 3.0% 21,700 0.6% 4,100 12.5% 81,700
Illinois 4.3% -0.3% -0.6% -1.1% 38 1.0% 58,300 0.5% 28400 2.4% 140,900
Indiana 3.3% 0.1% -0.2% -1.4% 15 0.6% 17,300 -0.2% -5,200 4.5% 133,700
Iowa 2.7% -0.1% -0.5% -1.0% 4 1.0% 15,900 0.3% 5000 4.1% 63,200
Kansas 3.4% 0.0% -0.2% -0.9% 16 1.8% 24,800 0.6% 9,100 2.7% 37,900
Kentucky 4.2% 0.2% -0.9% -1.2% 32 0.2% 3,100 -0.2% -3000 3.6% 66,700
Louisiana 4.7% 0.3% -0.5% 0.5% 46 0.9% 17200 0.3% 5200 2.8% 53,800
Maine 2.9% 0.2% -0.6% -1.9% 9 1.1% 6800 0.3% 1,700 1.5% 9100
Maryland 4.3% 0.0% 0.2% 1.0% 37 0.2% 5,400 -0.1% -1700 4.4% 116,100
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.3% -1.1% 19 1.7% 63,200 1.0% 36,300 10.7% 356,700
Michigan 4.5% -0.2% 0.1% -2.7% 42 1.2% 51,600 0.1% 3,600 4.3% 180,800
Minnesota 3.1% -0.1% -0.3% -1.6% 12 1.1% 33,300 0.5% 13500 7.0% 192,700
Mississippi 4.7% 0.2% -0.5% -1.1% 45 1.5% 17,500 0.2% 2700 0.7% 7,900
Missouri 3.5% -0.1% -0.2% -1.9% 18 1.2% 34,300 0.3% 9,500 3.6% 101,200
Montana 3.8% -0.3% -0.2% -0.4% 22 0.6% 2,900 0.0% 0 6.6% 29,600
Nebraska 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 8 1.3% 13,600 0.5% 5,100 6.5% 63,300
Nevada 4.7% -0.2% -0.4% -0.3% 44 2.8% 37,600 0.4% 6,100 6.6% 85,200
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.1% 0.0% -0.8% 3 1.8% 12,300 0.9% 5800 5.8% 37,900
New Jersey 4.3% -0.3% -0.3% -0.2% 36 1.1% 43,900 0.0% -2,000 2.3% 95,200
New Mexico 4.9% -0.7% -1.2% 1.0% 48 1.5% 12,600 0.2% 1,600 -0.9% -7,700
New York 4.5% -0.1% -0.2% -0.3% 41 1.1% 107,700 0.4% 35,800 9.9% 865,600
North Carolina 4.2% -0.3% -0.2% -0.7% 31 2.3% 103,400 1.0% 45,300 8.5% 353,600
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 2 -0.1% -400 1.4% 6000 19.3% 70,000
Ohio 4.5% 0.1% -0.6% -1.1% 40 1.3% 72,300 0.5% 27,000 3.4% 186,600
Oklahoma 3.9% -0.1% -0.4% 0.3% 25 1.6% 27,200 0.6% 9800 5.2% 84,200
Oregon 4.0% -0.1% -0.1% -1.3% 28 2.0% 38,000 0.2% 4,400 10.0% 173,900
Pennsylvania 4.3% -0.5% -0.5% -0.4% 35 1.3% 77,500 0.2% 10,700 3.5% 205,300
Rhode Island 4.3% -0.2% -0.1% -1.7% 34 1.5% 7,500 0.8% 4000 3.0% 14,600
South Carolina 3.8% -0.6% -0.4% -1.8% 21 1.7% 35,200 0.3% 5900 9.1% 176,700
South Dakota 3.2% -0.2% -0.1% 0.5% 14 1.5% 6500 0.3% 1400 8.0% 32,500
Tennessee 3.5% 0.1% -0.1% -1.9% 17 2.0% 59,500 0.7% 21600 9.5% 265,500
Texas 4.0% 0.0% -0.2% -0.3% 27 2.9% 359,500 0.9% 107,600 19.1% 2,013,400
Utah 3.0% -0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 11 3.0% 43,900 0.4% 6,200 19.6% 247,700
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.2% -1.4% 6 0.1% 400 0.4% 1300 2.4% 7,300
Virginia 3.2% -0.2% -0.5% -0.1% 13 1.1% 43,800 0.3% 12,900 6.0% 224,900
Washington 4.7% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0% 43 2.7% 90,000 0.6% 21,000 14.0% 418,700
West Virginia 5.3% -0.1% 0.3% 0.7% 49 0.9% 6800 0.0% -200 -1.2% -9200
Wisconsin 2.9% 0.0% -0.4% -1.8% 7 1.0% 30,000 0.1% 2,600 3.4% 98,400
Wyoming 3.7% -0.2% -0.3% 0.9% 20 1.7% 4,900 0.6% 1600 -2.9% -8,600

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

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