Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Updated March 2019

The unemployment rate and the change in the number of jobs are important indicators of state labor market health. The unemployment rate is the share of the state’s labor force that is not currently employed and is actively looking for work. Healthy job growth is growth that provides regular employment for all individuals wanting a job. 

The map below shows the current unemployment rate in each state, and the percent change in the number of jobs in each state over the preceding 12 months. Clicking on a state will also show the change in that state’s unemployment rate or change in the number of jobs over the last 3 months, 12 months, and since December 2007—the peak of the previous business cycle.

November

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 2.7% -0.004 -0.011 -1.6% 42 2.4% 48800 0.6% 12500 3.3% 67900
Alaska 6.1% -0.001 -0.004 -0.3% 2 0.5% 1600 -0.6% -2000 3.0% 9700
Arizona 4.7% -0.003 -0.002 0.4% 7 2.4% 70100 0.7% 20700 10.5% 280900
Arkansas 3.6% 0.002 -0.001 -1.5% 23 1.3% 15900 0.4% 4700 6.3% 76500
California 3.9% -0.002 -0.002 -2.0% 16 1.9% 321800 0.5% 87100 13.7% 2123100
Colorado 2.6% -0.002 -0.01 -1.5% 47 2.1% 57100 0.2% 5800 19.0% 447000
Connecticut 3.7% 0.001 -0.001 -1.2% 21 0.2% 3900 0.2% 4000 -0.6% -9800
Delaware 3.8% 0.004 0.003 0.1% 19 1.5% 6800 0.9% 4000 6.7% 29400
Washington D.C. 5.3% -0.002 0 -0.3% 3 1.5% 11800 0.1% 1200 15.0% 105100
Florida 3.1% -0.002 -0.002 -1.6% 38 2.5% 217400 0.5% 48300 14.6% 1159300
Georgia 3.3% -0.003 -0.004 -1.7% 32 1.5% 69000 0.2% 7600 11.4% 474000
Hawaii 2.6% -0.001 -3.5E-18 -0.5% 46 0.5% 3100 0.3% 2000 5.2% 32900
Idaho 2.9% 0 0.001 -0.2% 40 2.7% 19700 0.4% 3400 16.0% 104800
Illinois 3.8% -0.002 -0.005 -1.6% 18 0.7% 40600 0.0% -400 3.3% 199600
Indiana 3.2% -0.001 -0.003 -1.5% 33 0.4% 11200 -0.1% -3800 5.7% 170600
Iowa 2.6% 0.001 0.002 -1.1% 45 0.3% 5000 0.0% -700 4.6% 69600
Kansas 3.1% -0.001 -0.002 -1.2% 37 1.2% 16800 0.0% -600 3.8% 52700
Kentucky 4.4% 0 0.001 -1.0% 9 1.2% 23800 0.5% 10400 5.6% 104200
Louisiana 4.7% 0.004 -0.002 0.5% 6 0.5% 9000 0.3% 6800 2.9% 55400
Maine 2.8% -0.001 -0.007 -2.0% 41 0.8% 5200 -0.2% -1100 1.9% 12100
Maryland 3.6% -0.002 -0.001 0.3% 22 1.0% 27600 0.9% 23900 6.3% 165300
Massachusetts 2.9% 0 -0.002 -1.7% 39 1.3% 48600 0.4% 16400 11.5% 380900
Michigan 4.0% -0.002 0 -3.2% 14 0.4% 18200 -0.1% -2400 4.7% 199400
Minnesota 3.3% 0 0.004 -1.4% 31 0.2% 4900 0.1% 3800 7.1% 197000
Mississippi 5.6% 0.004 0.009 -0.2% 1 0.7% 7600 0.0% 400 0.9% 10100
Missouri 3.1% -0.001 -3.5E-18 -2.3% 36 1.3% 37100 0.0% 0 4.2% 117400
Montana 3.4% 0.001 -0.003 -0.8% 28 1.2% 5700 0.3% 1600 8.9% 39900
Nebraska 3.1% 0 0.003 0.1% 35 1.4% 13900 0.5% 5100 7.2% 70100
Nevada 4.0% -0.001 -0.004 -1.0% 13 2.6% 36900 0.7% 10300 11.7% 151500
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.001 0.002 -0.9% 44 0.8% 5300 -0.8% -5400 5.9% 38400
New Jersey 3.4% 0.002 -0.005 -1.1% 27 0.8% 34300 0.4% 15500 3.4% 138200
New Mexico 4.8% -0.001 -0.002 0.9% 5 1.9% 16300 0.1% 800 1.5% 12700
New York 4.0% 0 0.001 -0.8% 12 1.2% 116400 0.4% 36100 12.1% 1058100
North Carolina 3.8% -0.004 0.001 -1.1% 17 2.0% 91300 0.5% 22000 10.2% 425900
North Dakota 2.5% 0.001 -0.001 -0.5% 48 0.6% 2800 0.0% 0 20.6% 74700
Ohio 4.2% 0.001 -0.004 -1.4% 11 0.4% 20600 0.1% 5300 3.3% 179900
Oklahoma 3.4% 0.002 0.003 -0.2% 26 -0.3% -4300 -0.3% -5300 5.3% 85600
Oregon 3.9% -0.001 -0.004 -1.4% 15 1.9% 36800 0.8% 16100 12.7% 221100
Pennsylvania 4.3% 0.004 0.001 -0.4% 10 0.8% 48400 0.3% 21000 4.5% 259100
Rhode Island 3.5% -0.001 -0.005 -2.5% 24 2.2% 10700 0.5% 2700 3.9% 19100
South Carolina 2.4% -0.008 -0.008 -3.2% 50 1.5% 31900 0.5% 10200 12.4% 241300
South Dakota 3.1% 0.002 0.002 0.4% 34 1.4% 6100 0.8% 3500 10.2% 41500
Tennessee 3.3% -0.002 0 -2.1% 30 1.5% 46700 0.5% 14600 11.7% 328200
Texas 3.4% 0 -0.003 -0.9% 25 2.7% 336700 0.8% 99000 22.5% 2382600
Utah 2.4% -0.004 -0.008 -0.5% 49 3.2% 49500 0.9% 14800 25.1% 317100
Vermont 2.3% 0.002 -0.003 -1.9% 51 -0.1% -400 -0.4% -1400 2.6% 7900
Virginia 2.6% -0.002 -0.002 -0.7% 43 1.0% 40100 0.2% 8800 7.1% 269700
Washington 4.4% -0.002 -0.001 -0.3% 8 2.5% 86500 0.2% 6000 17.3% 519600
West Virginia 4.9% 0.003 -0.002 0.3% 4 0.1% 800 -0.5% -4000 0.3% 2100
Wisconsin 3.3% 0.002 0.003 -1.4% 29 0.2% 6500 0.0% 800 3.5% 101800
Wyoming 3.7% 0 -0.004 0.9% 20 -0.3% -800 -0.4% -1300 -2.4% -7200

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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When workers lose a job or cannot find work, they and their families lose wages and benefits, and the adverse effects may last a very long time as career trajectories are interrupted. When more workers are unemployed, it also depresses wage growth for those workers who have a job, since employers have little need to raise pay to attract or retain staff. Although the country remains on a positive trend of job growth and falling unemployment, many states still have rates of job growth that are leaving many unable to find work and paychecks falling behind. To ensure workers in every community have access to jobs and rising pay, policymakers should prioritize a full employment agenda.

Data come from the State and Regional Employment report, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Explore the map to see how these indicators differ across the country and read EPI’s recent research analyzing jobs and unemployment.