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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 3.8% 0.1% -1.0% -0.5% 22 1.2% 24,200 0.4% 8,800 0.2% 3,400
Alaska 7.3% 0.0% 0.2% 0.9% 51 -0.2% -700 0.3% 1100 3.1% 9,800
Arizona 4.9% 0.1% -0.1% 0.6% 47 2.2% 61,700 0.7% 19,900 5.4% 143,900
Arkansas 3.8% 0.1% 0.2% -1.3% 21 0.2% 3,100 0.3% 3200 3.0% 35,700
California 4.2% -0.2% -0.8% -1.7% 31 2.1% 356,800 0.3% 45,900 10.5% 1,617,800
Colorado 2.9% -0.1% 0.3% -1.2% 10 2.6% 69,700 0.9% 23,800 15.6% 366,800
Connecticut 4.5% 0.0% -0.3% -0.4% 40 0.5% 8700 -0.1% -2,300 -1.1% -18,200
Delaware 4.2% -0.3% -0.4% 0.5% 30 0.9% 4000 0.5% 2400 4.2% 18,600
Washington D.C. 5.6% -0.2% -0.6% 0.0% 50 0.7% 5,400 0.0% 200 13.5% 94,700
Florida 3.9% 0.0% -0.4% -0.8% 23 2.1% 178,400 0.7% 57,700 10.1% 798,700
Georgia 4.3% -0.2% -0.6% -0.7% 34 1.5% 67,100 0.1% 4,700 7.9% 330,800
Hawaii 2.0% -0.1% -0.5% -1.1% 1 1.3% 8,600 0.3% 2100 5.3% 33,400
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 9 3.3% 23,500 0.6% 4,200 12.0% 78,500
Illinois 4.4% -0.4% -0.5% -1.0% 36 0.9% 53,000 0.4% 22500 2.0% 117,200
Indiana 3.2% -0.1% -0.3% -1.5% 13 1.0% 30,600 0.2% 7,500 4.4% 133,200
Iowa 2.8% -0.1% -0.5% -0.9% 8 0.7% 10,300 0.1% 1900 3.7% 56,900
Kansas 3.4% -0.1% -0.2% -0.9% 17 1.4% 19,100 0.4% 5,300 2.2% 31,000
Kentucky 4.0% -0.3% -1.2% -1.4% 26 0.4% 7,700 0.2% 2900 3.7% 69,600
Louisiana 4.5% -0.1% -0.9% 0.3% 39 1.0% 19900 1.1% 21500 3.0% 57,800
Maine 2.7% -0.3% -0.6% -2.1% 4 0.9% 5400 0.6% 4,000 1.1% 7000
Maryland 4.3% 0.2% 0.1% 1.0% 33 0.3% 9,200 -0.1% -1600 4.3% 113,500
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.4% -1.1% 18 1.3% 47,600 0.6% 22,600 9.8% 326,500
Michigan 4.7% 0.0% 0.3% -2.5% 44 1.0% 45,600 0.4% 15,500 3.9% 167,100
Minnesota 3.2% -0.1% -0.3% -1.5% 12 0.8% 22,100 -0.1% -3000 6.4% 176,000
Mississippi 4.6% 0.0% -0.7% -1.2% 42 1.3% 14,900 0.3% 3300 0.4% 4,100
Missouri 3.6% -0.1% -0.2% -1.8% 19 1.2% 33,700 0.3% 9,800 3.3% 92,200
Montana 4.0% -0.1% 0.0% -0.2% 25 0.6% 3,000 -0.5% -2,200 6.4% 28,500
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 7 0.8% 8,400 0.5% 4,800 6.0% 58,500
Nevada 4.9% 0.0% -0.2% -0.1% 46 3.4% 45,300 0.9% 11,700 6.5% 83,400
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.0% -0.1% -0.9% 3 1.4% 9,300 0.4% 2900 5.1% 33,200
New Jersey 4.5% -0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 38 1.4% 58,600 0.3% 12,100 2.2% 90,000
New Mexico 5.4% -0.5% -0.9% 1.5% 49 1.3% 11,200 0.3% 2,700 -1.0% -8,200
New York 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 41 1.2% 117,200 0.3% 32,000 9.5% 836,600
North Carolina 4.4% -0.1% -0.2% -0.5% 35 1.9% 84,100 0.5% 23,500 7.6% 317,400
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 2 -1.8% -7,900 0.4% 1900 17.6% 63,600
Ohio 4.3% -0.4% -0.8% -1.3% 32 1.0% 56,900 0.4% 23,700 2.9% 158,600
Oklahoma 4.0% -0.1% -0.4% 0.4% 24 1.8% 30,500 0.6% 10100 5.0% 80,200
Oregon 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% -1.2% 28 2.0% 37,200 0.1% 2,800 9.6% 166,600
Pennsylvania 4.7% -0.1% -0.2% 0.0% 43 1.4% 83,600 0.3% 19,800 3.5% 203,700
Rhode Island 4.5% 0.0% 0.1% -1.5% 37 1.5% 7,200 0.3% 1600 2.4% 11,500
South Carolina 4.2% -0.1% -0.1% -1.4% 29 1.7% 35,500 0.4% 8,900 8.8% 170,800
South Dakota 3.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 16 0.7% 3000 -0.2% -1000 7.3% 29,600
Tennessee 3.4% 0.1% -0.6% -2.0% 15 1.5% 45,000 0.6% 16900 8.7% 243,800
Texas 4.1% 0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 27 2.7% 332,300 1.0% 125,600 18.4% 1,945,400
Utah 3.1% 0.0% -0.2% 0.2% 11 3.3% 48,200 0.8% 12,200 19.2% 242,900
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -1.4% 6 0.2% 700 0.2% 700 2.1% 6,400
Virginia 3.3% -0.3% -0.5% 0.0% 14 1.2% 46,300 0.7% 28,800 5.7% 216,700
Washington 4.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 45 2.8% 94,000 0.6% 20,700 13.5% 404,800
West Virginia 5.4% 0.0% 0.4% 0.8% 48 0.9% 6500 0.1% 400 -1.4% -10,500
Wisconsin 2.8% -0.3% -0.5% -1.9% 5 0.9% 27,900 0.4% 11,000 3.3% 94,800
Wyoming 3.8% -0.3% -0.3% 1.0% 20 2.0% 5,500 0.4% 1,200 -2.8% -8,400

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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