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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 3.8% 0.1% -1.0% -0.5% 22 1.2% 24,200 0.4% 8,800 0.2% 3,400
Alaska 7.3% 0.0% 0.2% 0.9% 51 -0.2% -700 0.3% 1100 3.1% 9,800
Arizona 4.9% 0.1% -0.1% 0.6% 47 2.2% 61,700 0.7% 19,900 5.4% 143,900
Arkansas 3.8% 0.1% 0.2% -1.3% 21 0.2% 3,100 0.3% 3200 3.0% 35,700
California 4.2% -0.2% -0.8% -1.7% 31 2.1% 356,800 0.3% 45,900 10.5% 1,617,800
Colorado 2.9% -0.1% 0.3% -1.2% 10 2.6% 69,700 0.9% 23,800 15.6% 366,800
Connecticut 4.5% 0.0% -0.3% -0.4% 40 0.5% 8700 -0.1% -2,300 -1.1% -18,200
Delaware 4.2% -0.3% -0.4% 0.5% 30 0.9% 4000 0.5% 2400 4.2% 18,600
Washington D.C. 5.6% -0.2% -0.6% 0.0% 50 0.7% 5,400 0.0% 200 13.5% 94,700
Florida 3.9% 0.0% -0.4% -0.8% 23 2.1% 178,400 0.7% 57,700 10.1% 798,700
Georgia 4.3% -0.2% -0.6% -0.7% 34 1.5% 67,100 0.1% 4,700 7.9% 330,800
Hawaii 2.0% -0.1% -0.5% -1.1% 1 1.3% 8,600 0.3% 2100 5.3% 33,400
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 9 3.3% 23,500 0.6% 4,200 12.0% 78,500
Illinois 4.4% -0.4% -0.5% -1.0% 36 0.9% 53,000 0.4% 22500 2.0% 117,200
Indiana 3.2% -0.1% -0.3% -1.5% 13 1.0% 30,600 0.2% 7,500 4.4% 133,200
Iowa 2.8% -0.1% -0.5% -0.9% 8 0.7% 10,300 0.1% 1900 3.7% 56,900
Kansas 3.4% -0.1% -0.2% -0.9% 17 1.4% 19,100 0.4% 5,300 2.2% 31,000
Kentucky 4.0% -0.3% -1.2% -1.4% 26 0.4% 7,700 0.2% 2900 3.7% 69,600
Louisiana 4.5% -0.1% -0.9% 0.3% 39 1.0% 19900 1.1% 21500 3.0% 57,800
Maine 2.7% -0.3% -0.6% -2.1% 4 0.9% 5400 0.6% 4,000 1.1% 7000
Maryland 4.3% 0.2% 0.1% 1.0% 33 0.3% 9,200 -0.1% -1600 4.3% 113,500
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.4% -1.1% 18 1.3% 47,600 0.6% 22,600 9.8% 326,500
Michigan 4.7% 0.0% 0.3% -2.5% 44 1.0% 45,600 0.4% 15,500 3.9% 167,100
Minnesota 3.2% -0.1% -0.3% -1.5% 12 0.8% 22,100 -0.1% -3000 6.4% 176,000
Mississippi 4.6% 0.0% -0.7% -1.2% 42 1.3% 14,900 0.3% 3300 0.4% 4,100
Missouri 3.6% -0.1% -0.2% -1.8% 19 1.2% 33,700 0.3% 9,800 3.3% 92,200
Montana 4.0% -0.1% 0.0% -0.2% 25 0.6% 3,000 -0.5% -2,200 6.4% 28,500
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 7 0.8% 8,400 0.5% 4,800 6.0% 58,500
Nevada 4.9% 0.0% -0.2% -0.1% 46 3.4% 45,300 0.9% 11,700 6.5% 83,400
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.0% -0.1% -0.9% 3 1.4% 9,300 0.4% 2900 5.1% 33,200
New Jersey 4.5% -0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 38 1.4% 58,600 0.3% 12,100 2.2% 90,000
New Mexico 5.4% -0.5% -0.9% 1.5% 49 1.3% 11,200 0.3% 2,700 -1.0% -8,200
New York 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 41 1.2% 117,200 0.3% 32,000 9.5% 836,600
North Carolina 4.4% -0.1% -0.2% -0.5% 35 1.9% 84,100 0.5% 23,500 7.6% 317,400
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 2 -1.8% -7,900 0.4% 1900 17.6% 63,600
Ohio 4.3% -0.4% -0.8% -1.3% 32 1.0% 56,900 0.4% 23,700 2.9% 158,600
Oklahoma 4.0% -0.1% -0.4% 0.4% 24 1.8% 30,500 0.6% 10100 5.0% 80,200
Oregon 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% -1.2% 28 2.0% 37,200 0.1% 2,800 9.6% 166,600
Pennsylvania 4.7% -0.1% -0.2% 0.0% 43 1.4% 83,600 0.3% 19,800 3.5% 203,700
Rhode Island 4.5% 0.0% 0.1% -1.5% 37 1.5% 7,200 0.3% 1600 2.4% 11,500
South Carolina 4.2% -0.1% -0.1% -1.4% 29 1.7% 35,500 0.4% 8,900 8.8% 170,800
South Dakota 3.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 16 0.7% 3000 -0.2% -1000 7.3% 29,600
Tennessee 3.4% 0.1% -0.6% -2.0% 15 1.5% 45,000 0.6% 16900 8.7% 243,800
Texas 4.1% 0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 27 2.7% 332,300 1.0% 125,600 18.4% 1,945,400
Utah 3.1% 0.0% -0.2% 0.2% 11 3.3% 48,200 0.8% 12,200 19.2% 242,900
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -1.4% 6 0.2% 700 0.2% 700 2.1% 6,400
Virginia 3.3% -0.3% -0.5% 0.0% 14 1.2% 46,300 0.7% 28,800 5.7% 216,700
Washington 4.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 45 2.8% 94,000 0.6% 20,700 13.5% 404,800
West Virginia 5.4% 0.0% 0.4% 0.8% 48 0.9% 6500 0.1% 400 -1.4% -10,500
Wisconsin 2.8% -0.3% -0.5% -1.9% 5 0.9% 27,900 0.4% 11,000 3.3% 94,800
Wyoming 3.8% -0.3% -0.3% 1.0% 20 2.0% 5,500 0.4% 1,200 -2.8% -8,400

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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