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News from EPI Unemployment falls as a majority of states see job growth

The State and Regional Employment report for October, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a majority of states added jobs and experienced decreases in unemployment rates. From July to October, 32 states added jobs, with New Mexico (1.3 percent), Idaho (1.1 percent), Utah (0.9 percent), Arizona (0.7 percent), and South Carolina (0.7 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, job loss occurred in 18 states and the District of Columbia, up from 13 states in last month’s report. The largest job losses occurred in Rhode Island (-0.8 percent), North Dakota (-0.7 percent), Connecticut (-0.6 percent), Maine (-0.5 percent) and Wyoming (-0.5 percent).

“Most states continued their slow-but-steady progress toward a full recovery, but we need more states to see job gains and lower unemployment rates before we can truly say we’re out of the woods,” said EPI analyst Janelle Jones. “Rather than cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, Congress should look for ways to aid economic recovery in the states.”

From July to October, employment rates fell in 28 states. Alabama (-0.9 percentage points), Arizona (-0.6 percentage points), Massachusetts (-0.6 percentage points), and Hawaii (-0.5 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment. Over the same months, the unemployment rate increased in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Indiana (0.8 percentage points), Michigan (0.8 percentage points), New Jersey (0.7 percentage points), and Oregon (0.5 percentage points). In six states the unemployment rate remained unchanged: Delaware, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington.

August

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 3.1% -0.3% -4.0% 0.5% 7 3.1% 60500 1.1% 22600 -2.7% -56100
Alaska 6.4% -0.2% -0.8% 1.3% 42 4.7% 13600 -0.2% -500 -7.7% -25400
Arizona 6.2% -0.5% -0.8% 1.3% 40 5.6% 157600 2.5% 72700 -0.3% -9600
Arkansas 4.2% -0.2% -2.3% 0.4% 20 2.6% 32400 0.3% 4100 -1.8% -23600
California 7.5% -0.2% -4.8% 3.2% 50 5.5% 874300 1.8% 289000 -5.8% -1028800
Colorado 5.9% -0.3% -1.2% 3.1% 37 4.5% 117400 1.0% 27800 -2.9% -82400
Connecticut 7.2% -0.9% -1.2% 3.5% 48 3.6% 55800 1.0% 15900 -5.4% -91000
Delaware 5.4% -0.5% -2.5% 0.9% 33 3.4% 14700 1.9% 8400 -3.3% -15500
Washington D.C. 6.5% -0.7% -2.3% 1.5% 43 2.1% 15700 1.1% 8400 -6.7% -53700
Florida 5.0% 0.1% -2.9% 1.7% 30 4.5% 377700 1.9% 160300 -3.3% -294900
Georgia 3.5% -0.6% -3.5% 0.0% 10 4.6% 199500 1.6% 71400 -2.3% -106900
Hawaii 7.0% -1.0% -7.1% 4.9% 45 9.4% 49300 1.9% 10600 -13.0% -85900
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -2.0% 0.3% 4 3.8% 28600 0.7% 5300 2.0% 15400
Illinois 7.0% -0.1% -4.1% 3.4% 44 2.9% 163700 1.2% 66700 -5.6% -343500
Indiana 4.1% 0.1% -3.2% 0.9% 18 2.3% 67500 0.8% 24800 -3.3% -104000
Iowa 4.1% 0.2% -1.2% 1.2% 17 2.5% 37400 0.6% 9600 -3.9% -62500
Kansas 3.8% 0.3% -2.4% 0.6% 13 1.7% 22500 0.8% 10900 -3.3% -47700
Kentucky 4.3% -0.2% -1.2% 0.1% 22 2.6% 47000 0.9% 17500 -3.9% -75800
Louisiana 6.2% -0.9% -2.0% 1.0% 39 2.3% 41800 0.9% 16900 -7.2% -144400
Maine 4.9% 0.1% -0.3% 1.8% 28 5.4% 31500 0.9% 5300 -3.6% -22800
Maryland 5.9% -0.2% -2.7% 2.4% 36 5.0% 127000 1.1% 29100 -3.9% -109200
Massachusetts 5.0% 0.0% -4.3% 2.2% 29 5.6% 184700 1.6% 55400 -6.2% -229900
Michigan 4.7% -0.3% -3.8% 1.0% 24 3.2% 128500 1.3% 54600 -6.3% -280900
Minnesota 3.8% -0.2% -2.8% 0.5% 12 3.7% 101100 0.9% 26300 -4.8% -143600
Mississippi 6.0% -0.1% -1.8% 0.2% 38 2.5% 27600 0.6% 6200 -2.6% -30700
Missouri 4.0% -0.2% -2.0% 0.4% 16 2.7% 73400 0.7% 20200 -3.0% -87200
Montana 3.5% -0.1% -2.3% -0.2% 9 2.8% 13200 0.6% 2700 -1.3% -6300
Nebraska 2.2% -0.4% -1.8% -0.8% 1 3.2% 32000 1.4% 14100 -1.4% -14500
Nevada 7.7% -0.1% -6.8% 4.0% 51 8.3% 103300 2.3% 29800 -6.4% -92400
New Hampshire 3.0% 0.1% -3.6% 0.4% 6 3.6% 22800 0.4% 2900 -4.3% -29500
New Jersey 7.2% 0.0% -3.8% 3.5% 47 5.5% 205800 1.6% 62000 -5.9% -248600
New Mexico 7.2% -0.7% -2.1% 1.9% 46 4.2% 32600 1.8% 14300 -5.8% -50400
New York 7.4% -0.4% -4.3% 3.5% 49 4.8% 411100 0.9% 81200 -8.9% -875500
North Carolina 4.3% -0.5% -2.5% 0.7% 21 3.7% 161400 1.3% 57200 -2.4% -108900
North Dakota 3.6% -0.4% -2.5% 1.3% 11 2.5% 10300 0.2% 700 -5.2% -22800
Ohio 5.4% 0.4% -3.6% 0.7% 32 2.2% 113500 1.1% 56400 -4.7% -264000
Oklahoma 3.2% -0.7% -3.1% 0.1% 8 1.8% 28500 0.6% 9300 -3.8% -65500
Oregon 4.9% -0.9% -3.5% 1.4% 27 3.8% 68400 1.7% 31300 -4.7% -93200
Pennsylvania 6.4% -0.6% -3.8% 1.4% 41 3.4% 191100 1.0% 57600 -5.7% -349600
Rhode Island 5.8% -0.2% -6.8% 1.8% 34 4.5% 20600 1.8% 8600 -5.8% -29300
South Carolina 4.2% -0.4% -1.2% 1.4% 19 3.3% 68500 1.2% 25300 -2.7% -58600
South Dakota 2.9% 0.1% -1.8% 0.0% 3 3.1% 13000 0.7% 3000 -1.1% -5000
Tennessee 4.6% -0.4% -3.5% 0.7% 23 4.1% 121600 0.9% 27900 -1.9% -58900
Texas 5.9% -0.7% -1.0% 2.2% 35 5.6% 681000 1.5% 191800 -1.6% -209700
Utah 2.6% -0.1% -2.2% 0.1% 2 5.3% 81400 1.9% 30400 3.1% 48100
Vermont 3.0% 0.0% -2.4% 0.5% 5 6.4% 17900 2.0% 5900 -4.7% -14900
Virginia 4.0% -0.5% -3.0% 1.5% 15 2.2% 82500 0.6% 22200 -4.3% -177800
Washington 5.1% -0.1% -4.0% 1.0% 31 5.3% 171700 2.0% 66700 -2.7% -95600
West Virginia 4.8% -0.7% -3.7% -0.3% 25 3.6% 24100 1.1% 7700 -4.0% -28700
Wisconsin 3.9% 0.0% -2.2% 0.6% 14 2.2% 63200 0.6% 16000 -4.0% -121000
Wyoming 4.9% -0.5% -1.3% 0.1% 26 1.5% 4100 0.0% -100 -5.5% -16000

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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