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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 5.8% -2.1% 3.1% 3.1% 23 -2.4% -49100 2.7% 54200 -2.8% -57900
Alaska 5.9% -5.7% -0.2% 0.1% 24 -6.4% -21100 6.0% 17600 -6.2% -20500
Arizona 8.0% -2.7% 3.5% 3.5% 43 -2.5% -73200 1.8% 51000 -3.4% -100700
Arkansas 6.2% -0.9% 2.7% 2.7% 28 -3.3% -41700 1.8% 22400 -3.6% -45700
California 9.3% -4.2% 5.4% 5.4% 47 -7.8% -1369400 2.3% 361700 -8.4% -1470300
Colorado 6.4% -1.0% 3.9% 3.9% 31 -4.0% -111600 2.9% 75400 -4.5% -125300
Connecticut 6.1% -4.1% 2.3% 2.3% 27 -5.3% -89800 3.5% 54000 -5.8% -99300
Delaware 5.6% -4.9% 1.6% 1.7% 21 -7.8% -36400 2.0% 8400 -9.0% -42300
Washington D.C. 8.2% -0.3% 2.9% 3.1% 46 -6.4% -51300 0.3% 2600 -6.8% -54600
Florida 6.5% -4.9% 3.6% 3.7% 32 -4.5% -407600 1.5% 126000 -5.3% -478400
Georgia 4.5% -3.1% 1.3% 1.4% 8 -3.0% -136600 1.9% 82200 -3.4% -158600
Hawaii 14.3% 0.8% 11.6% 11.6% 51 -17.3% -113700 -1.1% -6300 -17.6% -115500
Idaho 5.5% 0.4% 2.6% 2.8% 19 0.0% 300 1.6% 12000 -1.1% -8600
Illinois 6.8% -4.7% 3.1% 3.4% 33 -6.7% -411800 1.3% 75300 -6.8% -417300
Indiana 5.0% -2.9% 1.8% 1.9% 13 -3.2% -101200 1.6% 47700 -3.9% -123200
Iowa 3.6% -3.2% 0.8% 0.8% 4 -4.7% -75100 1.7% 25100 -4.3% -68500
Kansas 5.3% -1.9% 2.2% 2.2% 15 -3.7% -53000 1.0% 13100 -4.6% -65400
Kentucky 7.4% 2.9% 3.1% 3.2% 41 -5.5% -107100 2.6% 46700 -5.6% -108800
Louisiana 9.4% 0.0% 4.2% 4.2% 48 -5.3% -105800 2.2% 40500 -5.9% -117800
Maine 5.4% -4.5% 2.4% 2.2% 16 -7.7% -49000 2.3% 13300 -7.5% -48100
Maryland 7.8% 0.0% 4.4% 4.5% 42 -5.4% -150200 1.8% 47300 -6.5% -182000
Massachusetts 7.4% -8.8% 4.6% 4.6% 40 -9.2% -340200 3.4% 110300 -9.7% -359700
Michigan 5.5% -3.2% 1.6% 1.9% 18 -8.6% -381200 2.4% 93700 -9.6% -428100
Minnesota 4.6% -3.0% 1.3% 1.5% 10 -6.3% -188200 2.5% 68100 -6.2% -184200
Mississippi 7.4% -2.0% 1.8% 2.0% 39 -2.5% -28800 1.2% 13900 -2.7% -31500
Missouri 4.6% -2.3% 1.2% 1.1% 9 -4.2% -121800 0.7% 19400 -4.4% -129400
Montana 4.9% -1.6% 1.4% 1.4% 12 -3.0% -14400 2.0% 9200 -3.9% -19200
Nebraska 3.0% -1.9% 0.0% 0.1% 1 -2.5% -25900 1.7% 16800 -3.2% -33000
Nevada 12.0% -2.2% 8.3% 8.4% 50 -8.2% -117200 1.7% 22000 -8.5% -121000
New Hampshire 4.2% -3.8% 1.6% 1.6% 7 -8.2% -56400 1.2% 7600 -9.0% -62400
New Jersey 8.2% -6.0% 4.5% 4.4% 45 -7.7% -324600 3.5% 132900 -8.4% -355000
New Mexico 8.1% -4.6% 3.3% 3.3% 44 -6.5% -56300 2.0% 15700 -7.2% -62500
New York 9.6% -6.3% 5.7% 5.9% 49 -10.4% -1015500 4.1% 347700 -10.8% -1064000
North Carolina 6.3% -2.2% 2.6% 2.7% 29 -5.2% -238200 2.4% 100300 -5.8% -265600
North Dakota 4.8% -1.8% 2.4% 2.6% 11 -6.4% -28200 1.4% 5700 -7.0% -30700
Ohio 5.6% -3.4% 1.5% 1.5% 20 -6.3% -353600 2.4% 120600 -6.7% -376800
Oklahoma 6.1% -1.0% 2.7% 2.9% 26 -4.9% -83100 0.8% 13600 -4.5% -76600
Oregon 6.9% -3.5% 3.5% 3.6% 35 -6.0% -117600 2.2% 39700 -6.4% -125500
Pennsylvania 7.3% -5.2% 2.7% 2.6% 37 -7.5% -455900 1.9% 103700 -8.0% -487500
Rhode Island 7.0% -4.3% 3.5% 3.6% 36 -7.2% -36300 2.0% 9100 -7.9% -40000
South Carolina 4.2% -4.5% 1.8% 1.7% 6 -3.5% -77700 2.5% 52300 -4.2% -92300
South Dakota 3.6% -2.8% 0.2% 0.3% 3 -3.2% -14100 2.2% 9200 -3.6% -15900
Tennessee 7.4% -2.3% 4.1% 4.0% 38 -3.5% -108800 2.1% 63600 -4.1% -131000
Texas 6.9% -1.1% 3.4% 3.4% 34 -3.9% -499200 2.3% 278100 -4.8% -626100
Utah 4.1% -0.4% 1.7% 1.6% 5 -0.6% -9000 2.2% 33100 -1.4% -21500
Vermont 3.2% -5.1% 0.8% 0.8% 2 -9.3% -29500 3.0% 8300 -8.7% -27400
Virginia 5.3% -2.6% 2.6% 2.7% 14 -4.1% -164800 3.1% 116600 -4.9% -201100
Washington 6.0% -4.2% 2.0% 2.2% 25 -5.5% -190600 2.0% 65400 -6.5% -227500
West Virginia 6.4% -3.6% 1.3% 1.5% 30 -6.5% -47000 0.3% 2000 -5.7% -40500
Wisconsin 5.7% -1.4% 2.2% 2.2% 22 -6.9% -205000 1.7% 47200 -7.5% -226000
Wyoming 5.5% -1.6% 1.8% 1.8% 17 -4.7% -13600 2.5% 6600 -4.4% -12600

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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