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News from EPI The unemployment rate fell in most states in 2018: 44 states and the District of Columbia showed job gains in December

The State and Regional Employment report for December, released on this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), showed continued job gains in 44 states and the District of Columbia, with six states experiencing job losses. Additionally, in 38 states and the District of Columbia the unemployment rate either declined or held steady.

“In 2018, the unemployment rate fell in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and the economy added 220,000 jobs every month on average,” said Economic Analyst Jessica Schieder. “This is good news, but 2019 could potentially bring  tighter Fed policy and slower government spending. With any boost from the tax cuts behind us, these factors could rein in growth even as workers are still continuing to rejoin the labor market.”

From September to December, 48 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with South Carolina (1.7 percent), Nevada (1.4 percent), South Dakota (1.1 percent), Wyoming (1.0 percent), and Alabama (0.9 percent) having the highest percent change in job growth. Over the last three months, the number of jobs fell in two states, Alaska (-0.3 percent) and Maine (-0.2 percent).

From July to October, unemployment rates fell in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Delaware (-0.3 percentage points), Maryland (-0.3 percentage points), Massachusetts (-0.3 percentage points), and Oklahoma (-0.3 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment rates. The unemployment rate increased in 12 states. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Colorado (0.4 percentage points), Hawaii (0.3 percentage points), and Oregon (0.3 percentage points).

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% 0.0% -0.3% -0.5% 19 1.7% 34000 0.4% 8000 1.9% 38000
Alaska 6.5% 0.0% -0.2% 0.1% 1 1.6% 5100 0.5% 1600 4.1% 13100
Arizona 4.9% -0.2% 0.1% 0.6% 4 2.8% 78000 0.5% 15800 8.7% 234100
Arkansas 3.6% -0.1% -0.1% -1.5% 26 1.1% 13400 0.1% 1300 5.5% 66700
California 4.3% 0.1% 0.0% -1.6% 10 1.6% 271600 0.6% 95400 12.4% 1922300
Colorado 3.4% -0.3% 0.4% -0.7% 31 1.8% 49100 0.6% 16300 17.7% 415400
Connecticut 3.8% 0.0% -0.5% -1.1% 20 0.7% 11600 0.1% 1000 -0.8% -14100
Delaware 3.2% -0.3% -0.7% -0.5% 38 0.9% 4000 0.0% 100 5.4% 23800
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.2% -0.1% 0.0% 2 0.5% 3900 0.1% 1000 13.8% 96700
Florida 3.4% 0.0% -0.3% -1.3% 32 2.4% 206100 0.5% 46300 12.8% 1012100
Georgia 3.8% 0.0% -0.3% -1.2% 21 1.5% 69700 -0.2% -10300 10.0% 415700
Hawaii 2.8% 0.1% 0.5% -0.3% 44 0.6% 3800 0.3% 1800 5.1% 32000
Idaho 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.3% 45 2.5% 18700 0.7% 5600 14.6% 96000
Illinois 4.4% 0.1% 0.1% -1.0% 9 1.4% 83500 0.1% 4000 3.3% 197100
Indiana 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.1% 27 1.2% 38700 0.0% 1400 6.0% 181000
Iowa 2.4% 0.0% -0.2% -1.3% 48 0.7% 10900 -0.3% -4200 4.2% 63900
Kansas 3.5% 0.1% 0.1% -0.8% 30 0.9% 12400 0.1% 1800 2.7% 37300
Kentucky 4.0% -0.2% -0.4% -1.4% 14 1.0% 19500 0.1% 2800 5.0% 93300
Louisiana 4.5% -0.4% -0.4% 0.3% 8 0.1% 1100 0.0% -800 2.3% 45400
Maine 3.3% -0.2% 0.0% -1.5% 34 0.5% 3200 0.0% 200 1.9% 11700
Maryland 3.8% 0.1% -0.3% 0.5% 22 0.7% 19300 -0.1% -2200 5.6% 145700
Massachusetts 2.9% -0.2% -0.6% -1.7% 40 1.0% 37100 0.3% 12200 10.8% 356700
Michigan 4.1% 0.1% -0.2% -3.1% 13 0.8% 37300 0.1% 4000 4.7% 200200
Minnesota 3.3% 0.3% 0.3% -1.4% 35 0.8% 22800 -0.1% -2700 6.9% 192000
Mississippi 4.9% 0.2% 0.1% -0.9% 5 1.0% 11200 0.2% 2900 0.4% 4100
Missouri 3.3% 0.1% 0.0% -2.1% 36 1.0% 30000 0.5% 13800 3.7% 103700
Montana 3.6% -0.2% -0.1% -0.6% 28 0.8% 3900 -0.2% -1000 7.4% 33100
Nebraska 2.9% 0.1% 0.1% -0.1% 41 0.3% 3200 -0.3% -2900 5.9% 56800
Nevada 4.0% -0.4% -0.6% -1.0% 15 3.6% 49600 0.4% 6100 10.3% 132800
New Hampshire 2.4% 0.0% -0.2% -1.1% 49 1.5% 9900 0.4% 3000 6.1% 39700
New Jersey 3.9% -0.1% -0.4% -0.6% 17 1.4% 56300 0.3% 13000 3.2% 129600
New Mexico 5.0% -0.1% 0.1% 1.1% 3 1.6% 13100 0.5% 4400 0.4% 3700
New York 3.9% 0.0% -0.4% -0.9% 18 1.4% 135200 0.6% 56500 11.7% 1022800
North Carolina 4.0% 0.2% 0.0% -0.9% 16 1.6% 69800 0.5% 23000 9.3% 389100
North Dakota 2.3% -0.2% -0.3% -0.7% 50 0.7% 2900 -0.2% -1000 20.0% 72300
Ohio 4.3% -0.4% -0.3% -1.3% 11 0.8% 44400 -0.1% -5700 3.3% 178600
Oklahoma 3.3% 0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 37 1.0% 17000 0.3% 5200 5.8% 92300
Oregon 4.3% 0.0% 0.2% -1.0% 12 2.0% 38300 0.4% 8600 11.7% 204000
Pennsylvania 3.8% -0.3% -0.5% -0.9% 23 1.0% 58300 0.3% 18100 4.2% 244700
Rhode Island 3.7% -0.3% -0.4% -2.3% 24 1.0% 5000 1.0% 5100 2.6% 12700
South Carolina 3.4% 0.2% -0.1% -2.2% 33 2.0% 42300 0.3% 6200 11.8% 229500
South Dakota 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 46 2.6% 11200 -0.4% -1700 9.3% 37900
Tennessee 3.2% -0.1% -0.4% -2.2% 39 1.7% 51600 0.0% 400 10.4% 292800
Texas 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -0.6% 25 2.4% 294200 0.7% 82900 20.4% 2158800
Utah 2.9% -0.2% -0.2% 0.0% 42 3.0% 45600 0.4% 5600 22.6% 286100
Vermont 2.2% -0.3% -0.5% -2.0% 51 1.3% 4100 1.0% 3000 3.2% 9800
Virginia 2.9% 0.1% -0.2% -0.4% 43 1.1% 43100 0.3% 12100 6.9% 261500
Washington 4.7% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 7 2.7% 91500 0.8% 26800 16.2% 484100
West Virginia 4.9% -0.3% -0.5% 0.3% 6 1.8% 13200 -0.2% -1400 0.8% 5900
Wisconsin 2.8% -0.2% -0.2% -1.9% 47 0.5% 15100 -0.4% -10900 3.5% 100000
Wyoming 3.6% -0.4% -0.4% 0.8% 29 1.4% 4100 0.0% -100 -2.0% -5800

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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