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News from EPI Most states end 2017 on the right path, but pockets of weakness remain

The State and Regional Employment report for December, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that the positive trends experienced by most states in 2017 continued through the end of the year, as a majority of states saw job growth and falling unemployment rates.

“While Republicans in Congress have claimed that their tax bill will spur job creation, the improvements we’re seeing at the state level are clearly the continuation of a trend,” said Economic Analyst Janelle Jones. “Furthermore, the overall improvement masks pockets of job loss and rising unemployment, especially in communities of color. Policymakers should work to implement policies that will genuinely create jobs and move the economy closer to full employment.”

From September to December, 38 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Florida (2.1 percent), Montana (1.2 percent), Nevada (1.2 percent), Oregon (1.2 percent), and South Carolina (1.2 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, employment fell in 12 states. The largest job losses occurred in Alaska (-1.2 percent), North Dakota (-1.0 percent), and Delaware (-0.7 percent).

From September to December, unemployment fell in 30 states and the District of Columbia. California (-0.8 percentage points), Kentucky (-0.8 percentage points), Maine (-0.7 percentage points), Minnesota (-0.6 percentage points), and Mississippi (-0.6 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment rates. Over those same months, the unemployment rate increased in 17 states, up from 13 states in last month’s report. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Colorado (0.6 percentage points), Michigan (0.4 percentage points), North Carolina (0.4 percentage points), and West Virginia (0.4 percentage points). In three states the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged: Connecticut, Georgia, and Virginia.

December

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 3.6% -0.7% -9.6% 1.0% 8 9.3% 171400 -0.2% -3200 -3.6% -75400
Alaska 6.7% 0.1% -5.1% 1.6% 40 7.9% 22400 1.1% 3200 -6.9% -22900
Arizona 6.7% 0.0% -7.5% 1.8% 39 8.9% 236700 0.7% 20700 -3.2% -94800
Arkansas 4.4% -0.2% -5.6% 0.6% 18 8.3% 96400 0.2% 2600 -2.4% -30800
California 8.3% -0.7% -7.7% 4.0% 50 8.7% 1302100 2.5% 390300 -8.0% -1412700
Colorado 6.4% -0.2% -5.7% 3.6% 36 10.1% 247700 1.3% 33800 -4.5% -128100
Connecticut 8.1% 0.0% -0.5% 4.4% 47 12.6% 176700 0.6% 8800 -6.8% -115700
Delaware 6.4% 0.3% -7.0% 1.9% 35 11.3% 45000 0.2% 1000 -5.1% -23700
Washington D.C. 7.5% -0.9% -3.6% 2.5% 45 2.2% 16200 0.6% 4500 -8.3% -66400
Florida 4.8% 0.0% -9.2% 1.5% 23 9.8% 766000 0.9% 76400 -5.5% -503200
Georgia 4.3% -0.8% -8.2% 0.8% 17 10.3% 416600 0.5% 22400 -4.1% -192900
Hawaii 8.5% -1.8% -13.4% 6.4% 51 10.3% 52300 3.6% 19600 -15.1% -100200
Idaho 3.1% -0.4% -8.5% 0.5% 6 13.1% 91100 0.6% 4800 1.5% 11500
Illinois 7.1% -0.6% -9.4% 3.5% 41 7.7% 408400 1.2% 66500 -6.8% -415800
Indiana 3.9% -0.3% -13.0% 0.7% 12 13.6% 363400 -0.1% -3400 -4.3% -135900
Iowa 3.8% 0.2% -7.3% 0.9% 10 7.4% 104900 0.1% 2200 -4.6% -73500
Kansas 3.5% 0.1% -9.1% 0.3% 7 8.0% 101600 0.7% 8900 -3.9% -56400
Kentucky 4.7% -0.6% -12.2% 0.5% 21 11.8% 196800 0.4% 6600 -5.0% -98100
Louisiana 7.3% -0.3% -5.8% 2.1% 42 7.5% 127400 0.1% 2100 -7.9% -156500
Maine 4.8% -0.4% -4.3% 1.7% 22 12.0% 65400 1.3% 7800 -4.6% -29200
Maryland 6.2% -0.2% -2.8% 2.7% 33 10.6% 252600 0.7% 17800 -5.3% -147400
Massachusetts 6.5% -1.3% -9.9% 3.7% 37 12.9% 392300 1.2% 39600 -8.0% -299600
Michigan 4.9% -0.8% -18.7% 1.2% 24 21.1% 716800 1.4% 57300 -7.6% -338500
Minnesota 4.1% -0.4% -4.9% 0.8% 14 9.1% 235300 1.6% 44100 -6.0% -181000
Mississippi 6.2% -0.2% -9.5% 0.4% 32 10.8% 109300 -0.2% -1900 -3.6% -41900
Missouri 4.1% -0.2% -8.4% 0.5% 13 9.6% 245600 0.3% 7300 -3.8% -111600
Montana 3.7% -0.3% -8.2% 0.0% 9 12.9% 54800 0.6% 2900 -1.5% -7400
Nebraska 2.8% -0.4% -4.6% -0.2% 4 7.5% 70400 0.8% 8100 -2.4% -25000
Nevada 8.0% -0.5% -21.5% 4.3% 46 17.6% 196200 1.7% 21700 -9.3% -134200
New Hampshire 2.8% -0.8% -13.2% 0.2% 3 15.1% 86500 1.7% 10800 -4.3% -29900
New Jersey 7.5% -0.3% -9.1% 3.8% 44 11.1% 388400 0.9% 35100 -7.8% -328800
New Mexico 8.2% -0.5% -1.8% 2.9% 49 4.2% 31900 1.6% 12400 -8.3% -71700
New York 8.2% -0.6% -8.0% 4.3% 48 13.1% 1029800 1.3% 113600 -9.7% -952900
North Carolina 5.0% -0.9% -8.5% 1.4% 27 10.1% 408400 0.5% 21300 -3.6% -166800
North Dakota 4.2% -0.3% -4.5% 1.9% 15 8.2% 31500 1.6% 6400 -5.2% -22800
Ohio 4.7% -0.6% -11.7% 0.0% 20 12.4% 586900 0.1% 4000 -5.4% -301600
Oklahoma 4.3% -0.1% -8.7% 1.2% 16 5.9% 90300 0.3% 4900 -4.5% -76300
Oregon 6.0% -0.2% -7.2% 2.5% 31 9.2% 154800 2.1% 37100 -6.6% -130700
Pennsylvania 7.4% 0.1% -8.8% 2.4% 43 14.2% 703600 0.5% 26400 -7.0% -426100
Rhode Island 6.3% -0.9% -11.1% 2.3% 34 17.1% 68400 0.9% 4400 -7.8% -39600
South Carolina 5.0% -0.3% -6.5% 2.2% 26 11.9% 224700 0.4% 8300 -3.8% -83100
South Dakota 2.8% -0.3% -6.4% -0.1% 2 9.3% 37200 0.8% 3600 -1.6% -7200
Tennessee 5.0% -0.1% -10.8% 1.1% 25 10.4% 287400 1.1% 32500 -2.9% -92400
Texas 6.7% -0.1% -6.2% 3.0% 38 8.7% 1007100 1.0% 120300 -3.4% -445500
Utah 2.8% -0.3% -7.3% 0.3% 1 11.1% 158500 1.3% 20600 1.2% 18500
Vermont 2.9% -0.3% -11.9% 0.4% 5 16.1% 40400 1.4% 4000 -7.3% -23100
Virginia 4.7% -0.6% -6.6% 2.2% 19 7.7% 278700 -0.2% -7700 -4.9% -201300
Washington 5.5% -0.5% -10.8% 1.4% 29 7.8% 242000 2.2% 71300 -4.8% -169900
West Virginia 5.8% -0.7% -9.8% 0.7% 30 10.9% 67600 1.3% 9000 -4.6% -33400
Wisconsin 3.9% 0.1% -10.9% 0.6% 11 10.3% 267300 0.7% 19600 -4.7% -140500
Wyoming 5.4% 0.3% -0.1% 0.6% 28 4.7% 12300 0.8% 2100 -4.7% -13500

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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