Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Press release

Updated November 2018

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.

October

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 4.1% 0.0% 0.3% -0.2% 33 1.7% 33,600 0.6% 13,100 1.0% 20,900
Alaska 6.4% -0.5% -0.8% 0.0% 51 0.1% 400 1.0% 3200 3.3% 10,500
Arizona 4.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.4% 46 3.1% 86,700 1.3% 37,300 7.5% 200,800
Arkansas 3.5% -0.2% -0.2% -1.6% 20 0.7% 8,400 0.2% 2500 3.7% 44,900
California 4.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.8% 34 1.8% 308,700 0.5% 89,500 11.3% 1,756,700
Colorado 3.2% 0.4% 0.2% -0.9% 13 2.7% 72,000 0.3% 8,100 16.9% 396,900
Connecticut 4.2% -0.2% -0.3% -0.7% 39 1.3% 22300 0.2% 3,400 -0.2% -3,400
Delaware 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% 0.2% 30 1.1% 4900 0.4% 1800 5.2% 22,800
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.0% -0.3% 0.0% 50 0.2% 1,900 -0.1% -700 13.7% 95,800
Florida 3.4% -0.3% -0.5% -1.3% 17 2.7% 232,600 0.5% 45,600 11.5% 915,600
Georgia 3.6% -0.3% -0.9% -1.4% 23 2.1% 93,600 0.8% 34,600 9.7% 405,500
Hawaii 2.3% 0.2% 0.2% -0.8% 1 1.7% 10,900 0.0% 200 5.9% 37,000
Idaho 2.7% -0.2% -0.3% -0.4% 4 2.1% 15,300 -0.3% -1900 12.6% 82,900
Illinois 4.2% 0.0% -0.7% -1.2% 40 1.0% 59,300 0.1% 8900 2.5% 148,900
Indiana 3.5% 0.1% 0.0% -1.2% 21 0.8% 25,400 0.3% 9,000 4.9% 146,100
Iowa 2.4% -0.2% -0.5% -1.3% 2 1.4% 21,800 0.3% 4300 4.6% 70,100
Kansas 3.3% -0.1% -0.2% -1.0% 15 1.4% 19,500 -0.1% -1300 2.8% 38,600
Kentucky 4.5% 0.2% -0.1% -0.9% 43 0.5% 10,400 0.0% -600 4.0% 74,000
Louisiana 5.0% 0.1% 0.3% 0.8% 48 1.0% 19400 0.2% 3500 2.8% 54,400
Maine 3.4% 0.4% 0.2% -1.4% 18 1.3% 7900 0.1% 500 1.4% 8400
Maryland 4.1% -0.2% 0.1% 0.8% 35 1.4% 38,500 0.6% 16500 5.6% 145,800
Massachusetts 3.5% -0.1% 0.0% -1.1% 22 1.8% 64,400 0.1% 4,500 11.0% 364,700
Michigan 3.9% -0.4% -0.8% -3.3% 31 1.4% 61,800 0.3% 12,400 4.6% 195,100
Minnesota 2.8% -0.2% -0.5% -1.9% 5 1.2% 35,600 0.0% 1400 7.5% 208,500
Mississippi 4.7% -0.1% -0.1% -1.1% 47 1.2% 13,800 0.3% 3400 0.7% 8,500
Missouri 3.1% -0.3% -0.5% -2.3% 12 1.6% 44,600 0.4% 12,500 4.1% 114,900
Montana 3.7% 0.0% -0.4% -0.5% 25 1.5% 7,100 0.4% 1800 7.5% 33,700
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 6 1.6% 16,100 0.0% -300 6.7% 64,600
Nevada 4.4% -0.2% -0.5% -0.6% 42 3.4% 45,800 0.7% 9,700 8.1% 105,300
New Hampshire 2.6% -0.1% 0.0% -0.9% 3 2.3% 15,300 1.0% 6600 6.9% 45,100
New Jersey 4.1% -0.1% -0.6% -0.4% 36 1.7% 68,500 0.5% 19,200 3.2% 129,000
New Mexico 4.6% -0.1% -1.4% 0.7% 44 2.7% 22,300 1.4% 11,400 0.7% 6,000
New York 4.0% -0.3% -0.7% -0.8% 32 1.3% 122,800 0.5% 46,400 10.3% 899,500
North Carolina 3.6% -0.5% -0.9% -1.3% 24 2.3% 103,500 0.3% 12,900 9.0% 374,200
North Dakota 2.8% 0.2% 0.2% -0.2% 7 1.2% 5100 0.2% 800 20.1% 72,900
Ohio 4.6% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 45 2.1% 115,400 0.6% 35,400 4.2% 229,100
Oklahoma 3.4% -0.4% -0.7% -0.2% 19 1.4% 23,200 0.3% 4700 5.8% 92,600
Oregon 3.8% -0.1% -0.4% -1.5% 28 2.5% 46,500 0.6% 11,700 11.1% 193,700
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.1% -0.7% -0.6% 37 1.5% 92,300 0.7% 40,000 4.3% 251,800
Rhode Island 3.8% -0.3% -0.7% -2.2% 29 1.3% 6,300 -0.2% -1200 3.1% 15,300
South Carolina 3.3% -0.3% -0.9% -2.3% 16 1.8% 37,800 0.4% 7900 9.5% 185,100
South Dakota 3.0% -0.1% -0.4% 0.3% 10 1.7% 7300 0.9% 4000 8.7% 35,600
Tennessee 3.7% 0.2% 0.4% -1.7% 26 2.0% 59,300 0.5% 16600 10.0% 280,100
Texas 3.7% -0.3% -0.2% -0.6% 27 3.1% 384,800 0.7% 91,200 20.1% 2,123,600
Utah 3.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.3% 14 3.3% 48,600 0.5% 8,100 20.8% 263,400
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -1.4% 8 -0.9% -2800 -0.5% -1500 1.2% 3,700
Virginia 2.9% -0.2% -0.7% -0.4% 9 1.8% 71,400 0.5% 21,800 6.6% 250,700
Washington 4.3% -0.3% -0.4% -0.4% 41 3.3% 109,600 0.9% 30,100 15.5% 463,600
West Virginia 5.2% -0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 49 0.9% 6900 0.3% 1900 -0.9% -6700
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.1% -0.2% -1.7% 11 1.1% 31,500 -0.2% -6,000 3.5% 101,000
Wyoming 4.1% 0.3% -0.1% 1.3% 38 2.1% 6,000 0.5% 1300 -2.2% -6,400

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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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 failing 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.