Economic Indicators

Four in 10 state economies heading in wrong direction

State employment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in many states, the economic engine is either stalled or in reverse, losing jobs rather than gaining them.  The continued weak recovery is still crippling the economy and scarring working families throughout the nation.

In August, 20 states and the District of Columbia continued to have unemployment rates of 9 percent or higher, and unemployment surpassed 10 percent in 9 states and the District of Columbia. Even more troubling is the trend over the past three months.  Since May 2011, 20 states and the District of Columbia have lost jobs.

When accounting for population growth since the beginning of the recession, every state except North Dakota has a jobs deficit (jobs needed to get back to pre-recession unemployment rate).  The states with the largest jobs deficits are California (1,807,000), Florida (986,000) and Texas (634,000).

Too many states are seeing the harmful effects of meeting revenue shortfalls by cutting budgets.  Recently unemployed teachers, police officers and firefighters aren’t able to contribute to a sound economic recovery.  Workers in every state need the federal government to pass a substantial jobs bill as soon as possible.

See more work by Doug Hall