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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% 0.0% 0.3% -0.2% 33 1.7% 33,600 0.6% 13,100 1.0% 20,900
Alaska 6.4% -0.5% -0.8% 0.0% 51 0.1% 400 1.0% 3200 3.3% 10,500
Arizona 4.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.4% 46 3.1% 86,700 1.3% 37,300 7.5% 200,800
Arkansas 3.5% -0.2% -0.2% -1.6% 20 0.7% 8,400 0.2% 2500 3.7% 44,900
California 4.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.8% 34 1.8% 308,700 0.5% 89,500 11.3% 1,756,700
Colorado 3.2% 0.4% 0.2% -0.9% 13 2.7% 72,000 0.3% 8,100 16.9% 396,900
Connecticut 4.2% -0.2% -0.3% -0.7% 39 1.3% 22300 0.2% 3,400 -0.2% -3,400
Delaware 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% 0.2% 30 1.1% 4900 0.4% 1800 5.2% 22,800
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.0% -0.3% 0.0% 50 0.2% 1,900 -0.1% -700 13.7% 95,800
Florida 3.4% -0.3% -0.5% -1.3% 17 2.7% 232,600 0.5% 45,600 11.5% 915,600
Georgia 3.6% -0.3% -0.9% -1.4% 23 2.1% 93,600 0.8% 34,600 9.7% 405,500
Hawaii 2.3% 0.2% 0.2% -0.8% 1 1.7% 10,900 0.0% 200 5.9% 37,000
Idaho 2.7% -0.2% -0.3% -0.4% 4 2.1% 15,300 -0.3% -1900 12.6% 82,900
Illinois 4.2% 0.0% -0.7% -1.2% 40 1.0% 59,300 0.1% 8900 2.5% 148,900
Indiana 3.5% 0.1% 0.0% -1.2% 21 0.8% 25,400 0.3% 9,000 4.9% 146,100
Iowa 2.4% -0.2% -0.5% -1.3% 2 1.4% 21,800 0.3% 4300 4.6% 70,100
Kansas 3.3% -0.1% -0.2% -1.0% 15 1.4% 19,500 -0.1% -1300 2.8% 38,600
Kentucky 4.5% 0.2% -0.1% -0.9% 43 0.5% 10,400 0.0% -600 4.0% 74,000
Louisiana 5.0% 0.1% 0.3% 0.8% 48 1.0% 19400 0.2% 3500 2.8% 54,400
Maine 3.4% 0.4% 0.2% -1.4% 18 1.3% 7900 0.1% 500 1.4% 8400
Maryland 4.1% -0.2% 0.1% 0.8% 35 1.4% 38,500 0.6% 16500 5.6% 145,800
Massachusetts 3.5% -0.1% 0.0% -1.1% 22 1.8% 64,400 0.1% 4,500 11.0% 364,700
Michigan 3.9% -0.4% -0.8% -3.3% 31 1.4% 61,800 0.3% 12,400 4.6% 195,100
Minnesota 2.8% -0.2% -0.5% -1.9% 5 1.2% 35,600 0.0% 1400 7.5% 208,500
Mississippi 4.7% -0.1% -0.1% -1.1% 47 1.2% 13,800 0.3% 3400 0.7% 8,500
Missouri 3.1% -0.3% -0.5% -2.3% 12 1.6% 44,600 0.4% 12,500 4.1% 114,900
Montana 3.7% 0.0% -0.4% -0.5% 25 1.5% 7,100 0.4% 1800 7.5% 33,700
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 6 1.6% 16,100 0.0% -300 6.7% 64,600
Nevada 4.4% -0.2% -0.5% -0.6% 42 3.4% 45,800 0.7% 9,700 8.1% 105,300
New Hampshire 2.6% -0.1% 0.0% -0.9% 3 2.3% 15,300 1.0% 6600 6.9% 45,100
New Jersey 4.1% -0.1% -0.6% -0.4% 36 1.7% 68,500 0.5% 19,200 3.2% 129,000
New Mexico 4.6% -0.1% -1.4% 0.7% 44 2.7% 22,300 1.4% 11,400 0.7% 6,000
New York 4.0% -0.3% -0.7% -0.8% 32 1.3% 122,800 0.5% 46,400 10.3% 899,500
North Carolina 3.6% -0.5% -0.9% -1.3% 24 2.3% 103,500 0.3% 12,900 9.0% 374,200
North Dakota 2.8% 0.2% 0.2% -0.2% 7 1.2% 5100 0.2% 800 20.1% 72,900
Ohio 4.6% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 45 2.1% 115,400 0.6% 35,400 4.2% 229,100
Oklahoma 3.4% -0.4% -0.7% -0.2% 19 1.4% 23,200 0.3% 4700 5.8% 92,600
Oregon 3.8% -0.1% -0.4% -1.5% 28 2.5% 46,500 0.6% 11,700 11.1% 193,700
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.1% -0.7% -0.6% 37 1.5% 92,300 0.7% 40,000 4.3% 251,800
Rhode Island 3.8% -0.3% -0.7% -2.2% 29 1.3% 6,300 -0.2% -1200 3.1% 15,300
South Carolina 3.3% -0.3% -0.9% -2.3% 16 1.8% 37,800 0.4% 7900 9.5% 185,100
South Dakota 3.0% -0.1% -0.4% 0.3% 10 1.7% 7300 0.9% 4000 8.7% 35,600
Tennessee 3.7% 0.2% 0.4% -1.7% 26 2.0% 59,300 0.5% 16600 10.0% 280,100
Texas 3.7% -0.3% -0.2% -0.6% 27 3.1% 384,800 0.7% 91,200 20.1% 2,123,600
Utah 3.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.3% 14 3.3% 48,600 0.5% 8,100 20.8% 263,400
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -1.4% 8 -0.9% -2800 -0.5% -1500 1.2% 3,700
Virginia 2.9% -0.2% -0.7% -0.4% 9 1.8% 71,400 0.5% 21,800 6.6% 250,700
Washington 4.3% -0.3% -0.4% -0.4% 41 3.3% 109,600 0.9% 30,100 15.5% 463,600
West Virginia 5.2% -0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 49 0.9% 6900 0.3% 1900 -0.9% -6700
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.1% -0.2% -1.7% 11 1.1% 31,500 -0.2% -6,000 3.5% 101,000
Wyoming 4.1% 0.3% -0.1% 1.3% 38 2.1% 6,000 0.5% 1300 -2.2% -6,400

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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