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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

-1.1%-1.3%-0.7%211.0%26000.8%2100-4.7%-13500

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 3.1% -0.1% -1.6% 0.5% 10 3.0% 60300 1.6% 31500 -1.3% -26200
Alaska 6.1% -0.5% -0.4% 1.0% 43 1.9% 5900 1.7% 5100 -5.9% -19500
Arizona 5.2% -1.4% -1.6% 0.3% 31 4.8% 136500 0.3% 10000 -0.2% -6100
Arkansas 3.7% -0.6% -1.9% -0.1% 17 2.5% 31400 0.5% 6500 -1.2% -15600
California 7.3% -0.3% -2.5% 3.0% 51 5.1% 811200 1.5% 246800 -5.0% -886300
Colorado 5.4% -0.7% -1.5% 2.6% 37 3.9% 104600 0.9% 25300 -2.2% -62700
Connecticut 6.4% -0.9% -1.8% 2.7% 46 2.5% 39100 0.9% 14800 -4.7% -79500
Delaware 5.3% -0.3% -0.4% 0.8% 33 1.8% 7900 0.1% 600 -3.4% -15700
Washington D.C. 6.3% -0.4% -2.5% 1.3% 45 3.1% 23100 1.2% 9100 -5.5% -43900
Florida 4.6% -0.5% -1.2% 1.3% 27 5.1% 428600 1.6% 140700 -1.9% -169700
Georgia 3.1% -0.6% -2.8% -0.4% 9 4.5% 196900 0.9% 41000 -1.3% -60900
Hawaii 6.3% -1.0% -7.7% 4.2% 44 10.5% 54600 -0.9% -5200 -12.9% -85400
Idaho 2.8% -0.2% -2.0% 0.2% 6 2.6% 20000 -0.6% -4600 1.6% 12300
Illinois 6.0% -1.1% -2.1% 2.4% 41 3.4% 190300 1.0% 59300 -4.7% -286700
Indiana 3.3% -0.8% -2.3% 0.1% 13 2.2% 65500 0.5% 15000 -2.7% -84600
Iowa 3.9% -0.2% -0.3% 1.0% 20 1.8% 27200 0.3% 5000 -3.2% -51000
Kansas 3.9% 0.1% -0.8% 0.7% 19 2.3% 30900 0.5% 6300 -2.8% -40100
Kentucky 4.2% -0.2% -1.3% 0.0% 24 1.5% 28300 1.3% 24600 -3.7% -72000
Louisiana 5.4% -1.2% -2.5% 0.2% 36 2.0% 35900 0.4% 7300 -7.0% -139000
Maine 4.9% 0.0% 0.1% 1.8% 28 2.1% 12700 -0.8% -4800 -4.1% -26400
Maryland 5.7% -0.3% -1.1% 2.2% 39 3.9% 101400 1.1% 30000 -3.3% -91100
Massachusetts 5.3% 0.4% -3.2% 2.5% 32 5.9% 197200 1.2% 41900 -5.1% -190600
Michigan 6.1% 1.3% -2.0% 2.4% 42 3.2% 129500 1.4% 56600 -5.1% -229000
Minnesota 3.5% -0.4% -1.8% 0.2% 14 3.2% 90500 1.0% 27400 -4.0% -120500
Mississippi 5.5% -0.6% -1.4% -0.3% 38 2.4% 26900 0.9% 10300 -1.4% -16300
Missouri 3.7% -0.5% -1.3% 0.1% 16 2.6% 72300 0.7% 19400 -2.6% -75100
Montana 3.1% -0.5% -1.6% -0.6% 8 1.6% 7600 -0.4% -2000 -1.2% -6000
Nebraska 1.9% -0.4% -1.7% -1.1% 1 3.0% 30300 1.0% 9700 -0.8% -8300
Nevada 7.3% -0.4% -4.7% 3.6% 50 7.6% 96600 1.9% 25300 -5.5% -79000
New Hampshire 2.9% 0.0% -1.8% 0.3% 7 3.3% 21300 0.6% 3800 -3.6% -25000
New Jersey 7.0% -0.3% -0.7% 3.3% 49 4.2% 162800 1.6% 64600 -4.8% -204300
New Mexico 6.5% -1.1% -2.0% 1.2% 47 3.8% 29600 1.4% 11000 -5.2% -44800
New York 6.9% -0.7% -1.8% 3.0% 48 3.2% 280300 1.1% 93900 -8.2% -805100
North Carolina 4.1% -0.3% -2.7% 0.5% 22 3.4% 151400 0.5% 23400 -1.6% -72300
North Dakota 3.3% -0.6% -1.4% 1.0% 12 2.4% 9600 0.1% 500 -5.2% -22700
Ohio 5.1% -0.3% -0.5% 0.4% 30 2.0% 104000 0.6% 33000 -4.1% -228600
Oklahoma 2.7% -0.8% -2.5% -0.4% 3 2.5% 39600 1.3% 21800 -2.9% -49600
Oregon 4.4% -0.8% -2.6% 0.9% 26 3.6% 65900 0.8% 14300 -4.4% -86800
Pennsylvania 6.0% -0.5% -1.0% 1.0% 40 2.4% 134700 0.4% 22900 -5.4% -331800
Rhode Island 5.4% -0.3% -1.9% 1.4% 35 3.7% 17300 0.4% 2100 -5.5% -28000
South Carolina 3.9% -0.4% -1.5% 1.1% 18 3.1% 65500 1.1% 22800 -1.8% -38900
South Dakota 2.8% -0.1% -0.9% -0.1% 5 2.1% 9200 0.3% 1200 -0.7% -3300
Tennessee 4.2% -0.5% -3.6% 0.3% 23 2.7% 80700 0.3% 8800 -1.7% -54500
Texas 5.4% -0.8% -1.9% 1.7% 34 5.4% 661300 1.5% 188900 -0.5% -60100
Utah 2.2% -0.4% -1.6% -0.3% 2 5.3% 81200 0.9% 14500 3.5% 55600
Vermont 2.8% -0.2% -1.2% 0.3% 4 3.0% 8700 -1.8% -5500 -6.1% -19100
Virginia 3.6% -0.6% -2.5% 1.1% 15 2.0% 79500 1.4% 55000 -3.3% -133300
Washington 5.0% -0.1% -2.0% 0.9% 29 5.6% 182000 1.2% 41500 -2.0% -70900
West Virginia 4.3% -0.7% -3.1% -0.8% 25 2.7% 18300 0.2% 1100 -3.8% -27400
Wisconsin 3.2% -0.7% -1.6% -0.1% 11 2.0% 55500 -0.4% -10400 -4.0% -121000
Wyoming 4.1%

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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