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.

December

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% -0.3% -1.1% -1.6% 42 2.2% 45700 0.6% 12800 3.5% 71200
Alaska 6.1% -0.1% -0.4% -0.3% 1 0.0% 100 -0.3% -1000 3.2% 10200
Arizona 4.6% -0.3% -0.3% 0.3% 7 2.8% 80800 0.9% 27800 10.9% 291700
Arkansas 3.6% 0.1% -0.1% -1.5% 22 1.4% 18300 0.6% 8000 6.7% 81100
California 3.9% -0.1% -0.2% -2.0% 13 1.8% 310300 0.4% 68600 13.8% 2131300
Colorado 2.5% -0.2% -1.1% -1.6% 47 2.1% 56600 0.5% 15100 19.3% 453700
Connecticut 3.7% 0.1% -0.1% -1.2% 17 0.2% 3600 0.0% 100 -0.5% -9000
Delaware 3.9% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2% 14 1.3% 6200 0.2% 1000 6.6% 29100
Washington D.C. 5.3% -0.1% -0.1% -0.3% 3 1.4% 10900 0.4% 2900 14.9% 104500
Florida 3.0% -0.2% -0.3% -1.7% 38 2.4% 212000 0.5% 46400 14.8% 1173400
Georgia 3.2% -0.3% -0.5% -1.8% 33 1.5% 66700 0.4% 17700 11.6% 482400
Hawaii 2.6% -0.1% 0.0% -0.5% 44 0.8% 5000 0.3% 2100 5.8% 36500
Idaho 2.9% 0.0% 0.1% -0.2% 39 2.9% 21600 0.5% 3600 16.3% 107300
Illinois 3.7% -0.2% -0.6% -1.7% 18 0.7% 45000 0.0% 2900 3.5% 211400
Indiana 3.2% 0.0% -0.3% -1.5% 34 0.1% 4400 0.0% -1000 5.8% 173200
Iowa 2.7% 0.2% 0.3% -1.0% 43 -0.2% -2400 -0.3% -5100 4.3% 65700
Kansas 3.2% 0.0% -0.1% -1.1% 35 1.4% 20100 0.4% 5100 4.0% 56100
Kentucky 4.3% -0.1% 0.0% -1.1% 9 0.7% 13600 -0.4% -7900 5.1% 95600
Louisiana 4.9% 0.6% 0.0% 0.7% 5 0.5% 9000 0.0% -600 2.7% 53200
Maine 2.9% 0.0% -0.6% -1.9% 40 1.2% 7400 0.6% 3700 2.3% 14200
Maryland 3.5% -0.2% -0.2% 0.2% 23 1.1% 31000 0.9% 25200 6.7% 174300
Massachusetts 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -1.8% 41 1.2% 44800 0.3% 9700 11.3% 376100
Michigan 3.9% -0.3% -0.1% -3.3% 15 0.4% 19500 0.1% 5400 4.8% 204000
Minnesota 3.3% 0.1% 0.4% -1.4% 30 0.2% 6300 0.1% 2800 7.1% 197600
Mississippi 5.7% 0.3% 1.0% -0.1% 2 0.5% 6100 -0.2% -2200 0.7% 8600
Missouri 3.3% 0.2% 0.2% -2.1% 31 0.7% 20100 -0.3% -10000 3.7% 104700
Montana 3.4% 0.1% -0.3% -0.8% 27 0.8% 3700 0.2% 900 8.6% 38500
Nebraska 3.1% 0.0% 0.3% 0.1% 37 1.5% 15700 0.6% 6200 7.4% 71600
Nevada 3.8% -0.3% -0.6% -1.2% 16 1.9% 27400 0.2% 2600 11.4% 147100
New Hampshire 2.6% 0.1% 0.2% -0.9% 45 0.9% 6400 0.0% -200 6.3% 40700
New Jersey 3.5% 0.4% -0.4% -1.0% 24 0.9% 39000 0.5% 22500 3.5% 143400
New Mexico 4.7% -0.2% -0.3% 0.8% 6 1.8% 15600 0.1% 600 1.4% 12300
New York 4.0% 0.1% 0.1% -0.8% 12 1.1% 107200 0.3% 25600 12.0% 1053700
North Carolina 3.7% -0.4% 0.0% -1.2% 19 2.1% 93900 0.3% 11700 10.3% 427500
North Dakota 2.4% -0.1% -0.2% -0.6% 48 0.5% 2300 0.3% 1400 20.7% 74800
Ohio 4.2% 0.0% -0.4% -1.4% 11 0.5% 27300 0.3% 17500 3.6% 192500
Oklahoma 3.4% 0.2% 0.3% -0.2% 28 -0.3% -4800 -0.2% -4200 5.4% 86400
Oregon 3.7% -0.4% -0.6% -1.6% 20 1.9% 36800 0.6% 11100 12.6% 219400
Pennsylvania 4.5% 0.5% 0.3% -0.2% 8 0.5% 32700 0.2% 12100 4.3% 252000
Rhode Island 3.5% -0.1% -0.5% -2.5% 25 1.7% 8600 0.6% 2900 3.8% 18700
South Carolina 2.3% -0.6% -0.9% -3.3% 49 1.3% 27200 0.6% 12900 12.6% 244700
South Dakota 3.2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.5% 36 0.9% 3900 0.2% 900 10.1% 41300
Tennessee 3.3% -0.1% 0.0% -2.1% 32 1.6% 49200 0.4% 11500 11.8% 330900
Texas 3.5% 0.1% -0.2% -0.8% 26 2.7% 342800 0.9% 109400 22.8% 2407900
Utah 2.3% -0.4% -0.9% -0.6% 50 3.1% 47900 0.9% 14100 25.5% 322500
Vermont 2.3% 0.1% -0.3% -1.9% 51 -0.3% -1100 -0.7% -2200 2.2% 6900
Virginia 2.6% -0.1% -0.2% -0.7% 46 1.1% 45200 0.8% 32100 7.3% 274200
Washington 4.3% -0.3% -0.2% -0.4% 10 2.4% 84200 0.7% 22900 17.7% 531100
West Virginia 5.0% 0.3% -0.1% 0.4% 4 -0.4% -2900 -0.7% -5300 -0.3% -1900
Wisconsin 3.4% 0.2% 0.4% -1.3% 29 0.2% 7000 0.4% 11000 4.0% 113800
Wyoming 3.7% -0.1% -0.4% 0.9% 21 -1.1% -3100 -0.9% -2700 -3.1% -9100

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.