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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 February 2020 State unemployment rate raking 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 numbers of jobs in last 3 months Change in number of jobs in last 3 months Percent change in number of jobs since February 2020 Change in number of jobs since February 2020
Alabama 2.6% -0.3% -0.9% -0.8% 13 1.9% 39400 0.6% 12200 -0.4% -8700
Alaska 4.6% -0.3% -2.2% -0.6% 48 2.0% 6000 -1.9% -6100 -5.7% -18900
Arizona 3.3% 0.0% -1.9% -1.7% 26 3.6% 105100 1.2% 34900 2.3% 67500
Arkansas 3.2% 0.1% -1.0% -0.4% 24 2.5% 32500 0.1% 700 1.0% 13300
California 4.2% -0.6% -3.7% 0.1% 41 5.1% 850600 0.6% 105300 -1.0% -176000
Colorado 3.4% -0.3% -2.5% 0.6% 28 4.1% 111700 0.8% 23400 1.3% 37800
Connecticut 4.0% -0.6% -2.7% 0.6% 39 2.4% 39000 0.3% 5500 -2.8% -48000
Delaware 4.5% 0.0% -1.2% 0.8% 47 2.8% 12600 1.2% 5400 -1.6% -7700
Washington D.C. 5.5% -0.5% -1.7% 0.1% 51 3.5% 25500 0.1% 900 -5.1% -40700
Florida 2.8% -0.4% -2.0% 0.1% 17 5.1% 453600 1.2% 110500 3.0% 269000
Georgia 2.9% -0.2% -1.1% -0.7% 20 5.4% 246300 1.2% 55300 2.9% 135400
Hawaii 4.3% 0.2% -1.6% 2.1% 43 2.8% 16700 0.6% 3800 -8.8% -58300
Idaho 2.5% -0.2% -1.2% -0.5% 10 3.0% 23900 0.7% 6000 5.7% 44300
Illinois 4.5% -0.2% -2.0% 0.7% 46 4.2% 245700 0.6% 38600 -1.8% -112700
Indiana 2.4% 0.2% -1.5% -1.0% 8 3.5% 108300 0.3% 9500 0.5% 14500
Iowa 2.6% -0.7% -1.9% 0.0% 12 2.8% 42100 0.7% 10400 -1.1% -17700
Kansas 2.4% 0.0% -1.1% -0.7% 7 1.5% 20800 0.3% 4700 -2.2% -31900
Kentucky 3.7% -0.3% -1.1% -0.4% 32 3.1% 57900 0.4% 7000 -0.6% -11800
Louisiana 3.8% -0.4% -2.0% -1.4% 34 1.9% 35200 -0.1% -2700 -4.5% -89500
Maine 3.0% -0.6% -2.0% 0.2% 21 2.2% 13400 -1.1% -7000 -1.2% -7600
Maryland 4.0% -0.6% -2.1% -0.2% 38 3.3% 86900 0.4% 12100 -2.4% -66100
Massachusetts 3.7% -0.6% -2.3% 0.8% 31 4.7% 164700 0.3% 12600 -2.0% -75900
Michigan 4.3% -0.1% -2.0% 0.5% 42 3.5% 146900 0.0% -100 -2.8% -125600
Minnesota 1.8% -0.7% -1.6% -2.1% 1 2.7% 76700 0.7% 19300 -2.7% -80700
Mississippi 3.8% -0.4% -2.0% -1.9% 33 2.7% 30500 0.3% 2900 -0.2% -1900
Missouri 2.8% -0.8% -1.6% -0.5% 16 2.3% 65500 0.0% -200 -0.7% -21000
Montana 2.6% 0.3% -1.0% -1.1% 11 3.2% 15800 0.5% 2700 3.8% 18600
Nebraska 1.9% -0.1% -0.6% -1.1% 2 2.3% 23300 0.4% 4300 -0.2% -2500
Nevada 4.7% -0.3% -2.5% 0.7% 49 6.6% 90500 0.9% 12400 0.2% 3100
New Hampshire 2.0% -0.4% -1.6% -0.7% 4 2.8% 18400 0.0% -300 -1.4% -9700
New Jersey 3.9% -0.3% -3.2% 0.4% 37 5.2% 207400 0.9% 36100 -0.4% -15600
New Mexico 4.9% -0.4% -2.4% -0.5% 50 5.0% 40000 0.3% 2900 -1.6% -13700
New York 4.4% -0.2% -3.0% 0.5% 44 5.0% 447500 0.8% 76000 -4.0% -395300
North Carolina 3.4% -0.1% -1.6% -0.3% 27 3.3% 152000 0.8% 36300 2.9% 133700
North Dakota 2.5% -0.4% -1.1% 0.3% 9 2.7% 11400 0.4% 1500 -3.1% -13800
Ohio 3.9% -0.2% -1.4% -0.7% 36 1.8% 95700 0.0% 1000 -2.6% -148400
Oklahoma 2.9% 0.2% -1.3% -0.3% 19 2.6% 42100 0.8% 12900 -0.8% -14300
Oregon 3.6% -0.2% -1.8% 0.2% 30 5.0% 93800 1.1% 20500 -0.7% -14100
Pennsylvania 4.5% -0.4% -2.1% -0.5% 45 3.7% 211300 0.8% 44500 -2.4% -144800
Rhode Island 2.7% -0.7% -3.5% -1.0% 14 3.4% 16200 0.7% 3300 -2.2% -11400
South Carolina 3.2% -0.2% -0.9% 0.3% 23 3.6% 76100 1.0% 22400 0.8% 16500
South Dakota 2.3% -0.2% -0.9% -0.3% 6 2.0% 8600 0.6% 2500 1.1% 4900
Tennessee 3.3% 0.1% -1.1% -0.3% 25 4.2% 130600 1.4% 43500 3.0% 93400
Texas 4.1% -0.3% -1.8% 0.6% 40 6.2% 778700 1.6% 209400 3.6% 464900
Utah 2.0% 0.0% -0.8% -0.6% 3 3.1% 49900 0.6% 9800 5.7% 90100
Vermont 2.2% -0.4% -1.3% -0.4% 5 1.9% 5600 -0.4% -1300 -5.2% -16300
Virginia 2.8% -0.2% -1.2% 0.1% 15 3.1% 123400 0.5% 20900 -1.2% -47600
Washington 3.9% -0.2% -1.5% 0.0% 35 4.4% 147300 0.5% 18900 -0.6% -22400
West Virginia 3.6% -0.1% -1.7% -1.5% 29 3.0% 20400 0.8% 5500 -2.3% -16500
Wisconsin 2.9% 0.1% -1.1% -0.1% 18 1.6% 45100 0.1% 1900 -2.2% -66300
Wyoming 3.1% -0.3% -1.5% -1.8% 22 2.1% 5900 -0.6% -1600 -2.1% -6200

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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