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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 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% 0.2% 0.1% -0.2% 32 1.1% 22,600 0.2% 4,300 0.5% 9,300
Alaska 6.7% -0.5% -0.5% 0.3% 51 -0.9% -3100 -0.7% -2400 2.3% 7,300
Arizona 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% 0.3% 44 2.9% 79,700 1.0% 27,500 6.9% 185,400
Arkansas 3.6% -0.2% -0.1% -1.5% 19 0.7% 8,500 0.2% 2600 3.4% 41,500
California 4.2% 0.0% -0.4% -1.7% 36 2.1% 348,900 0.6% 100,700 11.1% 1,712,000
Colorado 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -1.2% 8 2.7% 72,200 0.6% 15,100 16.6% 390,300
Connecticut 4.3% -0.2% -0.2% -0.6% 40 1.1% 18800 0.4% 6,900 -0.3% -5,700
Delaware 3.9% -0.1% -0.7% 0.2% 27 1.5% 6700 0.4% 1800 4.9% 21,400
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.0% -0.5% 0.0% 50 0.7% 5,800 0.1% 400 13.7% 96,200
Florida 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -1.0% 23 2.6% 220,200 0.9% 77,100 11.2% 890,500
Georgia 3.8% -0.4% -0.7% -1.2% 25 2.0% 88,900 0.8% 34,100 9.2% 382,900
Hawaii 2.1% 0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 1 2.7% 17,700 0.5% 3300 6.2% 39,200
Idaho 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 5 3.1% 22,000 0.5% 3,600 12.7% 83,300
Illinois 4.1% -0.2% -0.9% -1.3% 33 0.8% 47,500 0.2% 12000 2.3% 134,800
Indiana 3.5% 0.3% -0.1% -1.2% 18 0.9% 27,000 0.2% 7,600 4.8% 143,000
Iowa 2.5% -0.2% -0.5% -1.2% 2 1.3% 21,100 0.5% 8300 4.5% 68,100
Kansas 3.3% -0.1% -0.3% -1.0% 15 1.9% 26,600 0.5% 7,500 3.1% 43,500
Kentucky 4.4% 0.3% -0.5% -1.0% 41 0.4% 8,500 0.0% 800 3.9% 72,100
Louisiana 5.0% 0.4% 0.1% 0.8% 48 0.8% 15900 -0.3% -5900 2.6% 50,800
Maine 3.2% 0.4% -0.2% -1.6% 14 0.8% 5100 -0.3% -1800 1.2% 7600
Maryland 4.2% -0.1% 0.2% 0.9% 37 0.7% 20,300 0.4% 12300 5.1% 133,900
Massachusetts 3.6% 0.1% 0.0% -1.0% 20 1.9% 68,100 0.8% 31,000 11.0% 366,300
Michigan 4.1% -0.5% -0.5% -3.1% 34 1.3% 56,300 0.3% 12,700 4.4% 188,100
Minnesota 2.9% -0.2% -0.5% -1.8% 9 1.5% 44,400 0.7% 20800 7.5% 206,900
Mississippi 4.8% 0.1% -0.2% -1.0% 47 1.6% 18,500 0.3% 4000 0.8% 9,100
Missouri 3.3% -0.3% -0.3% -2.1% 16 1.2% 35,300 0.3% 10,100 3.7% 103,400
Montana 3.6% -0.3% -0.5% -0.6% 21 1.3% 6,200 0.7% 3400 7.3% 32,600
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 6 1.4% 14,300 0.2% 2,200 6.7% 64,700
Nevada 4.5% -0.3% -0.4% -0.5% 42 3.3% 44,800 1.0% 13,600 7.5% 96,800
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.0% 0.0% -0.8% 4 1.8% 11,900 0.5% 3400 6.1% 39,600
New Jersey 4.2% -0.2% -0.5% -0.3% 38 1.5% 61,500 0.4% 15,700 2.7% 111,400
New Mexico 4.6% -0.5% -1.4% 0.7% 45 2.0% 16,300 0.9% 7,600 -0.3% -2,900
New York 4.2% -0.3% -0.5% -0.6% 39 0.9% 90,200 0.1% 12,400 9.8% 862,500
North Carolina 3.9% -0.4% -0.5% -1.0% 28 2.3% 102,800 0.5% 22,500 8.7% 362,900
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.0% -0.4% 3 1.0% 4500 0.9% 4000 20.2% 73,200
Ohio 4.6% 0.3% -0.4% -1.0% 46 1.6% 90,200 0.5% 28,900 3.8% 207,600
Oklahoma 3.7% -0.3% -0.5% 0.1% 24 2.0% 33,100 0.5% 9200 5.6% 89,500
Oregon 3.8% -0.3% -0.4% -1.5% 26 2.4% 44,500 0.6% 10,900 10.5% 182,900
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.4% -0.7% -0.6% 35 1.1% 65,400 0.1% 5,600 3.6% 206,900
Rhode Island 4.0% -0.4% -0.4% -2.0% 31 1.3% 6,400 0.4% 2000 2.9% 14,100
South Carolina 3.4% -0.6% -0.8% -2.2% 17 1.9% 40,600 0.4% 8100 9.3% 181,400
South Dakota 3.0% -0.3% -0.4% 0.3% 10 1.5% 6300 -0.1% -600 7.9% 32,300
Tennessee 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.8% 22 1.9% 56,000 0.4% 13600 9.5% 266,100
Texas 3.9% -0.2% -0.1% -0.4% 29 3.2% 394,500 0.6% 78,200 19.5% 2,064,400
Utah 3.1% 0.1% -0.1% 0.2% 13 3.5% 51,900 1.0% 15,700 20.4% 258,100
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.2% -1.4% 7 -0.6% -1800 -0.6% -2000 1.4% 4,400
Virginia 3.0% -0.2% -0.7% -0.3% 11 1.4% 54,800 0.3% 10,100 6.2% 233,700
Washington 4.5% -0.2% -0.3% -0.2% 43 3.3% 108,800 0.8% 28,000 14.8% 442,600
West Virginia 5.3% -0.1% 0.1% 0.7% 49 1.0% 7400 -0.9% -7100 -1.1% -8300
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.2% -0.3% -1.7% 12 1.5% 44,200 0.6% 19,000 3.8% 110,000
Wyoming 3.9% 0.2% -0.2% 1.1% 30 2.3% 6,500 1.2% 3300 -2.0% -6,000

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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