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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 3.5% -0.7% -2.7% -0.9% 17 1.7% 33,400 0.6% 11,600 0.2% 3,500
Alaska 7.2% 0.0% 0.6% 0.8% 51 -0.8% -2500 -1.4% -4600 2.6% 8,400
Arizona 4.3% -0.7% -0.7% -0.1% 33 1.5% 41,300 0.5% 14,900 3.4% 90,000
Arkansas 3.7% 0.2% -0.3% -1.5% 22 1.7% 20,600 0.0% 600 3.9% 46,700
California 4.6% -0.5% -0.7% -1.4% 38 1.7% 288,300 0.9% 143,100 9.3% 1,443,600
Colorado 2.9% 0.5% -0.1% -1.2% 8 1.7% 45,300 0.4% 11,100 13.3% 312,800
Connecticut 4.6% -0.2% 0.1% -0.3% 37 0.0% -700 -0.6% -9,400 -1.6% -27,800
Delaware 4.7% -0.2% 0.4% 1.0% 42 0.1% 300 -0.6% -2800 3.0% 13,400
Washington D.C. 6.4% 0.0% 0.6% 0.7% 50 1.0% 7,900 0.0% -200 13.4% 93,700
Florida 3.6% -0.4% -1.3% -1.3% 19 2.3% 195,000 0.3% 29,900 9.4% 744,600
Georgia 4.3% -0.4% -1.2% -0.8% 32 1.9% 85,200 0.3% 15,600 8.2% 343,000
Hawaii 2.0% -0.6% -0.9% -1.2% 1 0.8% 4,900 0.1% 700 4.6% 28,700
Idaho 2.9% 0.0% -0.8% -0.3% 7 2.3% 16,200 1.0% 7,000 9.9% 64,800
Illinois 4.9% -0.1% -0.9% -0.6% 45 0.4% 25,900 0.0% 300 1.0% 60,000
Indiana 3.7% 0.2% -0.4% -1.1% 21 0.7% 21,000 0.2% 6,600 4.5% 136,000
Iowa 2.9% -0.4% -0.6% -0.8% 6 1.4% 22,700 0.1% 2,300 4.4% 67,700
Kansas 3.5% -0.4% -0.8% -0.8% 16 0.2% 2,900 0.4% 6,100 1.8% 24,800
Kentucky 4.7% -0.8% -0.2% -0.8% 41 1.3% 25,600 0.3% 6,000 5.1% 95,000
Louisiana 4.7% -0.5% -1.3% 0.6% 40 0.5% 8,900 -0.4% -8,300 2.1% 39,900
Maine 3.3% -0.5% -0.5% -1.6% 13 0.3% 2,100 -0.4% -2,700 -0.2% -1500
Maryland 3.9% 0.0% -0.3% 0.5% 24 2.2% 60,700 0.2% 4,400 6.2% 162,400
Massachusetts 3.6% -0.6% 0.5% -1.0% 18 1.8% 65,200 0.6% 20,200 9.9% 329,800
Michigan 4.6% 0.7% -0.5% -2.7% 36 1.1% 46,300 0.5% 21,400 4.0% 168,900
Minnesota 3.1% -0.7% -0.9% -1.6% 10 1.1% 33,500 0.0% 200 6.5% 179,400
Mississippi 4.8% -0.5% -0.8% -1.1% 44 1.1% 12,200 0.6% 6900 -0.1% -1,300
Missouri 3.4% -0.5% -1.1% -2.0% 14 1.1% 30,200 -0.2% -5,000 3.3% 92,100
Montana 4.0% 0.1% 0.0% -0.2% 26 0.8% 3,900 0.3% 1,400 6.6% 29,600
Nebraska 2.7% -0.1% -0.6% -0.3% 4 1.0% 10,100 0.4% 4,100 6.6% 64,300
Nevada 5.0% 0.1% -0.2% -0.1% 46 2.7% 35,100 0.5% 6,100 4.8% 61,800
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.0% -0.1% -0.8% 3 1.3% 8,700 -0.1% -800 5.1% 33,300
New Jersey 5.1% 0.6% 0.3% 0.5% 47 1.0% 41,900 0.2% 6,200 1.2% 50,600
New Mexico 6.1% -0.2% -0.6% 2.1% 49 1.2% 10,200 0.7% 6,000 -0.4% -3,600
New York 4.7% -0.1% -0.2% -0.2% 39 1.2% 116,800 0.0% -1,100 8.9% 783,300
North Carolina 4.3% 0.2% -0.9% -0.7% 31 1.6% 71,500 0.6% 26,500 6.7% 278,300
North Dakota 2.6% 0.3% -0.4% -0.5% 2 0.4% 1,600 -1.2% -5,200 20.4% 73,800
Ohio 4.8% -0.6% -0.2% -0.9% 43 0.7% 38,600 -0.1% -6,700 2.2% 121,700
Oklahoma 4.2% -0.3% -0.7% 0.6% 28 1.2% 19,100 0.0% -500 3.8% 61,800
Oregon 4.2% 0.1% -0.4% -1.1% 27 2.0% 36,300 0.3% 5,000 8.5% 148,000
Pennsylvania 4.6% -0.3% -0.9% -0.2% 35 1.1% 62,600 0.3% 15,900 2.8% 164,500
Rhode Island 4.3% 0.0% -0.7% -1.8% 30 1.1% 5,500 -0.2% -1,100 2.0% 9,900
South Carolina 4.0% 0.0% -0.3% -1.7% 25 2.2% 44,800 0.8% 17,700 8.4% 164,300
South Dakota 3.5% 0.2% 0.6% 0.8% 15 0.2% 1000 0.1% 400 6.9% 28,100
Tennessee 3.1% -0.2% -2.0% -2.4% 9 1.2% 36,200 0.0% 1,000 7.9% 222,200
Texas 3.8% -0.4% -1.0% -0.5% 23 2.7% 330,600 0.9% 116,800 17.8% 1,882,900
Utah 3.2% -0.3% 0.0% 0.2% 12 2.8% 41,200 1.0% 15,200 17.6% 222,300
Vermont 2.9% -0.1% -0.3% -1.3% 5 1.6% 5000 0.3% 1100 2.9% 9,100
Virginia 3.7% -0.1% -0.4% 0.2% 20 0.9% 33,700 -0.3% -11,500 5.0% 189,500
Washington 4.5% -0.1% -0.7% -0.3% 34 2.1% 69,100 0.8% 27,400 11.9% 355,500
West Virginia 5.3% 0.3% -0.5% 0.6% 48 -0.8% -6300 0.3% 2,200 -1.6% -12,100
Wisconsin 3.2% -0.2% -0.9% -1.6% 11 1.4% 40,600 0.8% 24,600 3.4% 96,800
Wyoming 4.3% 0.3% -0.6% 1.5% 29 -0.6% -1,700 -1.0% -2,800 -6.6% -19,400

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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