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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 3.9% 0.2% -0.7% -0.4% 23 1.1% 22,900 0.2% 5,000 0.2% 3,500
Alaska 7.2% -0.1% 0.1% 0.8% 51 -0.2% -500 0.1% 400 3.3% 10,400
Arizona 4.7% -0.2% -0.2% 0.4% 44 2.5% 69,900 0.8% 21,700 5.8% 155,600
Arkansas 3.8% 0.0% 0.2% -1.3% 21 0.5% 6,600 0.3% 4000 3.1% 37,800
California 4.2% -0.1% -0.7% -1.7% 31 1.8% 306,000 0.2% 36,500 10.4% 1,609,600
Colorado 2.8% -0.2% 0.2% -1.3% 5 2.7% 72,800 0.8% 21,000 15.9% 373,200
Connecticut 4.5% -0.1% -0.2% -0.4% 39 0.7% 11500 -0.1% -1,300 -0.9% -14,600
Delaware 4.0% -0.4% -0.6% 0.3% 25 1.3% 6100 0.6% 2700 4.5% 19,700
Washington D.C. 5.6% -0.1% -0.6% 0.0% 50 1.1% 8,700 0.5% 4100 14.0% 98,300
Florida 3.8% -0.1% -0.4% -0.9% 22 2.1% 180,200 0.5% 43,800 10.3% 815,100
Georgia 4.2% -0.2% -0.6% -0.8% 32 1.7% 76,700 0.1% 6,300 8.3% 344,700
Hawaii 2.0% -0.1% -0.4% -1.1% 1 1.7% 11,300 0.3% 2300 5.7% 35,700
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -0.3% -0.2% 10 3.1% 21,800 0.3% 2,500 12.0% 78,900
Illinois 4.3% -0.4% -0.6% -1.1% 33 1.0% 60,200 0.2% 13700 2.1% 123,700
Indiana 3.2% 0.0% -0.3% -1.5% 13 1.1% 33,100 0.3% 8,300 4.7% 140,000
Iowa 2.7% -0.2% -0.5% -1.0% 3 1.1% 17,100 0.2% 3700 4.0% 61,200
Kansas 3.4% 0.0% -0.2% -0.9% 16 1.6% 22,700 0.4% 5,500 2.4% 32,900
Kentucky 4.1% 0.0% -1.0% -1.3% 28 0.8% 15,200 0.3% 6000 4.0% 74,600
Louisiana 4.6% 0.1% -0.7% 0.4% 42 1.0% 18900 0.7% 13700 2.9% 56,700
Maine 2.8% -0.1% -0.6% -2.0% 6 1.4% 8400 0.5% 3,400 1.5% 9400
Maryland 4.3% 0.1% 0.2% 1.0% 34 0.5% 12,700 0.2% 4100 4.5% 118,200
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.3% -1.1% 17 1.6% 56,100 0.4% 15,900 10.0% 333,300
Michigan 4.6% -0.2% 0.2% -2.6% 43 1.3% 57,800 0.3% 11,100 4.2% 179,000
Minnesota 3.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.6% 12 1.0% 30,000 0.2% 6800 6.7% 185,600
Mississippi 4.7% 0.2% -0.6% -1.1% 45 1.4% 15,900 0.0% 500 0.4% 4,300
Missouri 3.6% -0.1% -0.1% -1.8% 19 1.2% 34,300 0.1% 3,800 3.3% 92,600
Montana 3.9% -0.2% -0.1% -0.3% 24 0.6% 2,900 -0.1% -300 6.5% 28,800
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 7 1.3% 13,400 0.7% 7,500 6.5% 62,800
Nevada 4.8% -0.1% -0.3% -0.2% 47 2.8% 37,400 0.3% 4,000 6.3% 81,600
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.1% 0.0% -0.8% 4 1.9% 12,900 0.4% 2400 5.6% 36,200
New Jersey 4.4% -0.2% -0.1% -0.1% 37 1.4% 57,200 0.1% 4,000 2.3% 94,900
New Mexico 5.1% -0.7% -1.1% 1.2% 48 1.6% 13,200 0.3% 2,500 -0.9% -7,500
New York 4.5% -0.1% -0.2% -0.3% 40 1.1% 108,400 0.1% 12,600 9.6% 845,500
North Carolina 4.3% -0.2% -0.2% -0.6% 35 2.3% 99,600 0.8% 34,200 8.1% 337,400
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 2 -0.5% -2,000 1.2% 4900 18.9% 68,300
Ohio 4.3% -0.2% -0.8% -1.3% 36 1.4% 76,200 0.5% 30,200 3.3% 180,500
Oklahoma 4.0% -0.1% -0.3% 0.4% 26 1.5% 25,300 0.2% 2900 4.8% 76,500
Oregon 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% -1.2% 29 2.3% 42,200 0.5% 9,100 10.0% 173,600
Pennsylvania 4.5% -0.3% -0.4% -0.2% 41 1.3% 78,200 0.2% 12,500 3.5% 202,800
Rhode Island 4.4% -0.2% 0.0% -1.6% 38 1.5% 7,500 0.3% 1500 2.6% 12,500
South Carolina 4.0% -0.4% -0.2% -1.6% 27 1.8% 38,400 0.0% 900 8.9% 173,300
South Dakota 3.3% -0.1% 0.0% 0.6% 15 1.4% 6100 0.1% 400 7.9% 32,200
Tennessee 3.5% 0.1% -0.3% -1.9% 18 1.8% 53,400 0.4% 12700 9.0% 252,800
Texas 4.1% 0.1% -0.3% -0.2% 30 2.9% 352,100 0.9% 110,600 18.7% 1,980,200
Utah 3.0% -0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 11 3.4% 49,800 0.9% 12,900 19.6% 247,700
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.3% -1.4% 8 0.4% 1400 0.2% 600 2.0% 6,100
Virginia 3.2% -0.3% -0.6% -0.1% 14 1.3% 53,000 0.4% 17,300 5.9% 223,500
Washington 4.7% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0% 46 2.9% 95,800 0.6% 21,800 13.8% 414,400
West Virginia 5.4% 0.0% 0.4% 0.8% 49 2.3% 17100 1.0% 7800 0.0% 100
Wisconsin 2.8% -0.1% -0.5% -1.9% 9 0.7% 20,200 -0.1% -3,200 3.0% 86,200
Wyoming 3.7% -0.3% -0.3% 0.9% 20 1.3% 3,700 0.0% 0 -3.2% -9,500

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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