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.

September

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 3.0% -0.005 -0.008 -1.3% 38 2.2% 44900 0.6% 12200 2.9% 58500
Alaska 6.2% -0.002 -0.003 -0.2% 1 1.0% 3400 -0.4% -1400 3.8% 12100
Arizona 4.9% 0 0.001 0.6% 4 2.3% 66500 0.5% 15100 9.8% 262000
Arkansas 3.5% 0 -0.001 -1.6% 23 1.3% 16700 0.4% 4700 6.1% 73400
California 4.0% -0.002 -0.001 -1.9% 15 1.9% 320000 0.4% 69500 13.3% 2057300
Colorado 2.7% -0.003 -0.008 -1.4% 44 2.1% 56900 0.3% 9300 18.7% 439300
Connecticut 3.6% -0.001 -0.003 -1.3% 21 0.5% 8800 0.4% 6400 -0.6% -10200
Delaware 3.5% 0.003 -0.001 -0.2% 24 1.8% 8200 1.0% 4500 6.3% 27800
Washington D.C. 5.4% -0.002 -6.9E-18 -0.2% 2 1.0% 8200 0.2% 1800 14.5% 101600
Florida 3.2% -0.002 -0.001 -1.5% 29 2.5% 224700 0.7% 63600 14.1% 1122100
Georgia 3.5% -0.002 -0.002 -1.5% 25 1.7% 77400 0.5% 22000 11.1% 464300
Hawaii 2.7% -0.001 0.001 -0.4% 45 1.1% 6900 0.7% 4400 5.6% 35400
Idaho 2.9% 0.001 0.002 -0.2% 40 3.1% 22600 0.8% 6100 16.1% 106000
Illinois 3.9% -0.004 -0.003 -1.5% 17 1.1% 66600 0.0% 300 3.4% 204800
Indiana 3.2% -0.003 -0.003 -1.5% 30 0.7% 21100 -0.1% -4300 5.9% 175900
Iowa 2.5% 0.001 0.001 -1.2% 48 0.8% 12700 0.1% 2100 4.6% 69900
Kansas 3.2% -0.002 -0.001 -1.1% 31 1.5% 20800 0.7% 10200 3.7% 50800
Kentucky 4.4% 0.003 0.001 -1.0% 8 1.4% 26200 0.2% 4500 5.5% 102000
Louisiana 4.3% 0 -0.006 0.1% 9 0.3% 6200 0.5% 10700 2.8% 53700
Maine 2.9% -0.003 -0.006 -1.9% 41 0.5% 3400 -0.2% -1300 1.8% 11000
Maryland 3.7% -0.001 -0.001 0.4% 20 0.9% 26000 0.6% 15600 5.8% 151500
Massachusetts 2.9% -0.001 -0.003 -1.7% 42 1.0% 35300 0.0% -1000 11.0% 363500
Michigan 4.2% 0 0.003 -3.0% 10 0.6% 24800 0.0% -2100 4.6% 196100
Minnesota 3.2% -0.001 0.004 -1.5% 32 0.2% 5000 0.0% -600 7.0% 193300
Mississippi 5.4% 0.004 0.007 -0.4% 3 1.5% 16900 0.0% 0 0.9% 10400
Missouri 3.1% -0.002 0.001 -2.3% 35 1.1% 32100 0.1% 2300 4.0% 113500
Montana 3.3% -0.002 -0.004 -0.9% 28 1.0% 4800 -0.2% -800 8.3% 37000
Nebraska 3.1% 0.001 0.004 0.1% 36 0.8% 8400 0.2% 2300 6.7% 64800
Nevada 4.1% 0.001 -0.004 -0.9% 12 3.2% 45200 1.2% 16500 11.4% 147200
New Hampshire 2.5% 0 0.001 -1.0% 49 1.3% 8900 -0.2% -1300 6.2% 40300
New Jersey 3.1% -0.004 -0.008 -1.4% 37 1.1% 44600 -0.1% -5300 3.0% 122500
New Mexico 4.9% 0 0 1.0% 5 2.2% 18800 0.6% 4900 1.6% 13300
New York 3.9% -0.001 0.001 -0.9% 18 1.1% 106000 0.2% 18600 11.7% 1029200
North Carolina 4.1% -0.001 0.004 -0.8% 13 2.3% 102700 0.4% 17500 9.9% 411900
North Dakota 2.5% 0.002 -0.001 -0.5% 50 0.3% 1200 -0.1% -400 20.3% 73600
Ohio 4.2% 0.002 -0.004 -1.4% 11 0.4% 23100 0.0% 2700 3.2% 173100
Oklahoma 3.2% 0 0.001 -0.4% 33 0.2% 3100 -0.2% -4100 5.7% 90800
Oregon 4.1% 0.001 6.94E-18 -1.2% 14 1.6% 30100 0.1% 1700 11.8% 205200
Pennsylvania 4.0% 0.002 -0.002 -0.7% 16 0.5% 30200 0.1% 7200 4.0% 233100
Rhode Island 3.6% 0 -0.003 -2.4% 22 1.5% 7200 0.2% 1000 3.3% 16000
South Carolina 2.9% -0.006 -0.003 -2.7% 43 2.0% 43400 0.1% 2000 11.8% 230300
South Dakota 3.0% 0.001 0.001 0.3% 39 1.8% 8000 -0.1% -400 9.7% 39700
Tennessee 3.4% 0 0 -2.0% 26 1.6% 48200 0.4% 11300 11.3% 317300
Texas 3.4% 0 -0.003 -0.9% 27 2.4% 300000 0.4% 49300 21.7% 2291200
Utah 2.7% -0.001 -0.004 -0.2% 46 3.0% 46500 1.1% 16700 24.3% 307400
Vermont 2.2% 0.001 -0.004 -2.0% 51 1.2% 3700 -0.3% -800 3.0% 9400
Virginia 2.7% -0.002 -0.001 -0.6% 47 0.6% 25900 0.0% -1500 6.5% 246200
Washington 4.6% 0 0.002 -0.1% 7 2.7% 91200 0.3% 11600 17.0% 510500
West Virginia 4.7% 0 -0.004 0.1% 6 0.8% 5500 -0.5% -4000 0.5% 3800
Wisconsin 3.2% 0.003 0.002 -1.5% 34 0.4% 11400 -0.2% -4600 3.6% 104000
Wyoming 3.8% 0.003 -0.004 1.0% 19 1.2% 3300 -0.4% -1200 -2.1% -6100

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.