Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Updated September 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.

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 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% 0.2% 0.1% -0.2% 32 1.1% 22,600 0.2% 4,300 0.5% 9,300
Alaska 6.7% -0.5% -0.5% 0.3% 51 -0.9% -3100 -0.7% -2400 2.3% 7,300
Arizona 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% 0.3% 44 2.9% 79,700 1.0% 27,500 6.9% 185,400
Arkansas 3.6% -0.2% -0.1% -1.5% 19 0.7% 8,500 0.2% 2600 3.4% 41,500
California 4.2% 0.0% -0.4% -1.7% 36 2.1% 348,900 0.6% 100,700 11.1% 1,712,000
Colorado 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -1.2% 8 2.7% 72,200 0.6% 15,100 16.6% 390,300
Connecticut 4.3% -0.2% -0.2% -0.6% 40 1.1% 18800 0.4% 6,900 -0.3% -5,700
Delaware 3.9% -0.1% -0.7% 0.2% 27 1.5% 6700 0.4% 1800 4.9% 21,400
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.0% -0.5% 0.0% 50 0.7% 5,800 0.1% 400 13.7% 96,200
Florida 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -1.0% 23 2.6% 220,200 0.9% 77,100 11.2% 890,500
Georgia 3.8% -0.4% -0.7% -1.2% 25 2.0% 88,900 0.8% 34,100 9.2% 382,900
Hawaii 2.1% 0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 1 2.7% 17,700 0.5% 3300 6.2% 39,200
Idaho 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 5 3.1% 22,000 0.5% 3,600 12.7% 83,300
Illinois 4.1% -0.2% -0.9% -1.3% 33 0.8% 47,500 0.2% 12000 2.3% 134,800
Indiana 3.5% 0.3% -0.1% -1.2% 18 0.9% 27,000 0.2% 7,600 4.8% 143,000
Iowa 2.5% -0.2% -0.5% -1.2% 2 1.3% 21,100 0.5% 8300 4.5% 68,100
Kansas 3.3% -0.1% -0.3% -1.0% 15 1.9% 26,600 0.5% 7,500 3.1% 43,500
Kentucky 4.4% 0.3% -0.5% -1.0% 41 0.4% 8,500 0.0% 800 3.9% 72,100
Louisiana 5.0% 0.4% 0.1% 0.8% 48 0.8% 15900 -0.3% -5900 2.6% 50,800
Maine 3.2% 0.4% -0.2% -1.6% 14 0.8% 5100 -0.3% -1800 1.2% 7600
Maryland 4.2% -0.1% 0.2% 0.9% 37 0.7% 20,300 0.4% 12300 5.1% 133,900
Massachusetts 3.6% 0.1% 0.0% -1.0% 20 1.9% 68,100 0.8% 31,000 11.0% 366,300
Michigan 4.1% -0.5% -0.5% -3.1% 34 1.3% 56,300 0.3% 12,700 4.4% 188,100
Minnesota 2.9% -0.2% -0.5% -1.8% 9 1.5% 44,400 0.7% 20800 7.5% 206,900
Mississippi 4.8% 0.1% -0.2% -1.0% 47 1.6% 18,500 0.3% 4000 0.8% 9,100
Missouri 3.3% -0.3% -0.3% -2.1% 16 1.2% 35,300 0.3% 10,100 3.7% 103,400
Montana 3.6% -0.3% -0.5% -0.6% 21 1.3% 6,200 0.7% 3400 7.3% 32,600
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 6 1.4% 14,300 0.2% 2,200 6.7% 64,700
Nevada 4.5% -0.3% -0.4% -0.5% 42 3.3% 44,800 1.0% 13,600 7.5% 96,800
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.0% 0.0% -0.8% 4 1.8% 11,900 0.5% 3400 6.1% 39,600
New Jersey 4.2% -0.2% -0.5% -0.3% 38 1.5% 61,500 0.4% 15,700 2.7% 111,400
New Mexico 4.6% -0.5% -1.4% 0.7% 45 2.0% 16,300 0.9% 7,600 -0.3% -2,900
New York 4.2% -0.3% -0.5% -0.6% 39 0.9% 90,200 0.1% 12,400 9.8% 862,500
North Carolina 3.9% -0.4% -0.5% -1.0% 28 2.3% 102,800 0.5% 22,500 8.7% 362,900
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.0% -0.4% 3 1.0% 4500 0.9% 4000 20.2% 73,200
Ohio 4.6% 0.3% -0.4% -1.0% 46 1.6% 90,200 0.5% 28,900 3.8% 207,600
Oklahoma 3.7% -0.3% -0.5% 0.1% 24 2.0% 33,100 0.5% 9200 5.6% 89,500
Oregon 3.8% -0.3% -0.4% -1.5% 26 2.4% 44,500 0.6% 10,900 10.5% 182,900
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.4% -0.7% -0.6% 35 1.1% 65,400 0.1% 5,600 3.6% 206,900
Rhode Island 4.0% -0.4% -0.4% -2.0% 31 1.3% 6,400 0.4% 2000 2.9% 14,100
South Carolina 3.4% -0.6% -0.8% -2.2% 17 1.9% 40,600 0.4% 8100 9.3% 181,400
South Dakota 3.0% -0.3% -0.4% 0.3% 10 1.5% 6300 -0.1% -600 7.9% 32,300
Tennessee 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.8% 22 1.9% 56,000 0.4% 13600 9.5% 266,100
Texas 3.9% -0.2% -0.1% -0.4% 29 3.2% 394,500 0.6% 78,200 19.5% 2,064,400
Utah 3.1% 0.1% -0.1% 0.2% 13 3.5% 51,900 1.0% 15,700 20.4% 258,100
Vermont 2.8% 0.0% -0.2% -1.4% 7 -0.6% -1800 -0.6% -2000 1.4% 4,400
Virginia 3.0% -0.2% -0.7% -0.3% 11 1.4% 54,800 0.3% 10,100 6.2% 233,700
Washington 4.5% -0.2% -0.3% -0.2% 43 3.3% 108,800 0.8% 28,000 14.8% 442,600
West Virginia 5.3% -0.1% 0.1% 0.7% 49 1.0% 7400 -0.9% -7100 -1.1% -8300
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.2% -0.3% -1.7% 12 1.5% 44,200 0.6% 19,000 3.8% 110,000
Wyoming 3.9% 0.2% -0.2% 1.1% 30 2.3% 6,500 1.2% 3300 -2.0% -6,000

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.