Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Updated April 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.

March

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 3.8% 0.0% -1.2% -0.5% 20 1.0% 19,300 0.6% 12,600 0.1% 1,600
Alaska 7.3% 0.1% 0.2% 0.9% 51 -0.2% -700 0.9% 3000 3.3% 10,500
Arizona 4.9% 0.2% -0.2% 0.6% 46 2.3% 63,300 0.8% 23,500 5.2% 139,100
Arkansas 3.8% 0.1% 0.2% -1.3% 21 0.4% 4,500 0.4% 4800 3.0% 36,400
California 4.3% -0.2% -0.7% -1.6% 29 1.9% 321,000 0.3% 42,900 10.1% 1,565,900
Colorado 3.0% 0.0% 0.4% -1.1% 10 2.4% 62,200 0.8% 21,000 15.2% 357,600
Connecticut 4.5% 0.0% -0.4% -0.4% 36 0.5% 7800 0.3% 4,400 -0.9% -15,300
Delaware 4.3% -0.2% -0.3% 0.6% 30 0.5% 2500 0.9% 4100 4.2% 18,700
Washington D.C. 5.6% -0.3% -0.5% 0.0% 22 0.5% 4,000 0.1% 500 13.5% 94,400
Florida 3.9% 0.0% -0.5% -0.8% 32 2.0% 173,100 0.7% 56,800 9.9% 785,100
Georgia 4.4% -0.1% -0.6% -0.6% 1 1.5% 65,200 0.3% 14,100 7.9% 331,000
Hawaii 2.1% 0.0% -0.5% -1.0% 8 1.3% 8,200 0.7% 4300 5.4% 33,600
Idaho 2.9% -0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 40 3.3% 23,200 0.8% 5,900 11.9% 77,800
Illinois 4.6% -0.3% -0.4% -0.8% 12 0.6% 39,200 0.2% 11900 1.8% 107,900
Indiana 3.2% -0.2% -0.4% -1.5% 5 0.9% 27,500 0.5% 14,700 4.6% 136,300
Iowa 2.8% -0.1% -0.5% -0.9% 14 0.7% 10,600 0.0% -500 3.7% 56,900
Kansas 3.4% -0.1% -0.3% -0.9% 24 0.8% 10,700 0.4% 5,000 2.1% 29,500
Kentucky 4.0% -0.5% -1.2% -1.4% 33 0.2% 4,500 0.2% 3800 3.8% 69,800
Louisiana 4.4% -0.3% -1.2% 0.2% 4 0.6% 12100 0.8% 14800 2.6% 49,800
Maine 2.7% -0.4% -0.6% -2.1% 31 0.5% 2900 0.5% 3,200 1.0% 6300
Maryland 4.3% 0.2% 0.1% 1.0% 18 0.4% 10,800 0.6% 17000 4.5% 117,300
Massachusetts 3.5% 0.0% -0.4% -1.1% 43 1.2% 41,800 0.3% 12,300 9.7% 322,100
Michigan 4.7% 0.0% 0.1% -2.5% 13 1.4% 61,300 0.7% 29,500 4.2% 177,900
Minnesota 3.2% -0.1% -0.4% -1.5% 37 0.7% 21,300 0.3% 7600 6.6% 181,700
Mississippi 4.5% -0.3% -0.8% -1.3% 19 1.3% 14,400 0.3% 3200 0.4% 4,800
Missouri 3.6% -0.1% -0.3% -1.8% 27 1.0% 28,500 0.5% 13,600 3.3% 91,900
Montana 4.1% 0.0% 0.1% -0.1% 6 0.6% 3,000 -0.4% -1,800 6.4% 28,500
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.2% -0.2% 47 0.6% 6,500 0.4% 4,400 6.0% 57,900
Nevada 4.9% 0.0% -0.3% -0.1% 2 2.9% 39,300 1.0% 13,900 6.3% 81,100
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.0% -0.1% -0.9% 41 1.3% 8,500 0.7% 4700 5.1% 32,900
New Jersey 4.6% -0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 50 1.6% 67,100 0.8% 33,500 2.4% 96,000
New Mexico 5.6% -0.4% -0.7% 1.7% 42 1.2% 9,600 0.4% 3,600 -1.2% -9,800
New York 4.6% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 38 1.2% 113,300 0.3% 29,700 9.5% 833,400
North Carolina 4.5% 0.0% -0.2% -0.4% 3 1.7% 73,300 0.5% 22,800 7.4% 307,300
North Dakota 2.6% 0.0% 0.0% -0.4% 34 -1.3% -5,500 0.1% 500 17.9% 64,700
Ohio 4.4% -0.5% -0.7% -1.2% 25 1.0% 54,400 0.8% 44,900 3.0% 161,100
Oklahoma 4.0% -0.1% -0.5% 0.4% 28 1.7% 27,900 0.3% 4500 4.7% 75,900
Oregon 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% -1.2% 44 2.2% 41,000 0.5% 9,800 9.7% 168,700
Pennsylvania 4.8% 0.0% -0.2% 0.1% 39 1.4% 84,000 0.2% 11,000 3.3% 193,000
Rhode Island 4.5% 0.0% 0.1% -1.5% 35 1.3% 6,400 0.1% 400 2.2% 10,500
South Carolina 4.4% 0.2% 0.1% -1.2% 15 1.7% 35,600 0.6% 12,800 8.9% 173,800
South Dakota 3.4% 0.0% 0.2% 0.7% 16 1.5% 6300 0.4% 1900 7.8% 31,900
Tennessee 3.4% 0.1% -0.8% -2.0% 26 1.6% 49,000 0.7% 22300 8.7% 245,000
Texas 4.0% 0.0% -0.6% -0.3% 11 2.4% 294,100 0.9% 111,400 18.0% 1,901,600
Utah 3.1% -0.1% -0.2% 0.2% 7 3.3% 48,000 1.1% 16,000 19.1% 241,100
Vermont 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -1.4% 17 0.2% 600 0.3% 1000 1.9% 6,000
Virginia 3.4% -0.2% -0.5% 0.1% 45 1.0% 39,500 0.8% 33,100 5.6% 210,200
Washington 4.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 49 2.8% 91,600 0.7% 22,900 13.2% 396,500
West Virginia 5.4% 0.0% 0.4% 0.8% 48 0.7% 5000 0.4% 3,100 -1.1% -8,500
Wisconsin 2.9% -0.3% -0.4% -1.8% 9 1.0% 29,700 0.7% 20,600 3.3% 96,200
Wyoming 3.9% -0.2% -0.4% 1.1% 23 1.2% 3,500 0.4% 1,200 -3.5% -10,400

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.