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.

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 3.1% -0.6% -0.8% -1.2% 37 2.0% 41800 0.6% 12500 2.7% 55300
Alaska 6.2% -0.2% -0.3% -0.2% 1 1.1% 3700 -0.5% -1500 3.7% 11800
Arizona 5.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.7% 4 2.5% 71400 0.8% 22600 9.8% 262000
Arkansas 3.4% -0.2% -0.2% -1.7% 25 1.2% 15600 0.3% 4300 5.9% 71200
California 4.1% -0.1% 0.0% -1.8% 12 1.8% 314200 0.5% 92000 13.2% 2038500
Colorado 2.8% -0.4% -0.6% -1.3% 44 2.4% 64900 1.0% 28300 19.1% 449800
Connecticut 3.6% -0.2% -0.4% -1.3% 21 0.4% 7600 0.2% 3600 -0.7% -12200
Delaware 3.4% 0.2% -0.3% -0.3% 26 1.1% 4900 0.3% 1500 5.6% 24700
Washington D.C. 5.5% -0.2% 0.1% -0.1% 2 1.2% 9400 0.8% 6500 14.7% 102600
Florida 3.3% -0.1% -0.1% -1.4% 28 2.5% 221200 0.7% 62700 13.9% 1102500
Georgia 3.6% -0.2% -0.2% -1.4% 22 1.9% 84600 0.9% 41200 11.2% 466200
Hawaii 2.7% -0.1% 0.2% -0.4% 47 0.1% 600 -0.2% -1400 4.7% 29200
Idaho 2.9% 0.1% 0.1% -0.2% 40 2.1% 15700 0.3% 2200 15.3% 100300
Illinois 4.0% -0.4% -0.2% -1.4% 15 1.1% 65500 0.1% 7500 3.4% 204400
Indiana 3.3% -0.3% -0.2% -1.4% 29 0.6% 20000 -0.2% -7000 5.7% 171200
Iowa 2.5% 0.1% 0.1% -1.2% 48 0.8% 12600 0.4% 5900 4.6% 69900
Kansas 3.2% -0.3% -0.1% -1.1% 32 1.1% 15500 0.9% 12400 3.7% 51800
Kentucky 4.4% 0.4% 0.0% -1.0% 8 1.0% 19400 0.0% 800 5.0% 93500
Louisiana 4.3% -0.1% -0.6% 0.1% 9 0.1% 1000 0.2% 4500 2.5% 48600
Maine 2.9% -0.4% -0.6% -1.9% 41 1.2% 7600 0.4% 2800 2.2% 13400
Maryland 3.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% 19 0.1% 3700 -0.3% -8300 5.1% 132900
Massachusetts 2.9% -0.1% -0.4% -1.7% 42 1.2% 43600 0.4% 13400 11.1% 368100
Michigan 4.2% 0.0% 0.3% -3.0% 10 0.4% 16000 0.1% 6100 4.7% 199700
Minnesota 3.3% 0.0% 0.5% -1.4% 30 0.1% 2800 0.1% 3300 7.0% 193900
Mississippi 5.2% 0.2% 0.5% -0.6% 3 1.3% 15000 0.2% 2700 0.7% 8600
Missouri 3.2% -0.1% 0.2% -2.2% 33 1.3% 38200 0.5% 13500 4.2% 119200
Montana 3.3% -0.3% -0.4% -0.9% 31 1.3% 6200 0.6% 2800 8.6% 38200
Nebraska 3.1% 0.1% 0.4% 0.1% 38 0.8% 8200 0.3% 3300 6.7% 64700
Nevada 4.1% 0.1% -0.4% -0.9% 13 3.0% 42100 0.2% 3400 10.9% 140600
New Hampshire 2.5% 0.1% 0.0% -1.0% 49 1.9% 13000 0.7% 4900 6.9% 45100
New Jersey 3.2% -0.6% -0.8% -1.3% 34 1.1% 46700 0.1% 6000 3.1% 125700
New Mexico 4.9% -0.1% 0.1% 1.0% 5 2.1% 17500 0.7% 6400 1.3% 11200
New York 4.0% 0.0% 0.1% -0.8% 16 1.0% 92100 0.1% 10400 11.6% 1015700
North Carolina 4.2% 0.1% 0.5% -0.7% 11 1.6% 71000 0.3% 15600 9.7% 405500
North Dakota 2.4% 0.1% -0.2% -0.6% 50 0.6% 2600 0.1% 300 20.6% 74700
Ohio 4.1% 0.0% -0.5% -1.5% 14 0.4% 24800 0.0% 2300 3.2% 173600
Oklahoma 3.2% 0.0% 0.1% -0.4% 35 0.3% 5700 0.0% 200 5.6% 90300
Oregon 4.0% -0.2% -0.1% -1.3% 17 1.9% 36800 0.1% 2300 11.9% 206800
Pennsylvania 3.9% 0.1% -0.3% -0.8% 18 0.6% 38400 0.1% 6100 4.1% 240300
Rhode Island 3.6% 0.0% -0.3% -2.4% 23 1.5% 7400 1.0% 4800 3.4% 16600
South Carolina 3.2% -0.3% 0.0% -2.4% 36 1.5% 31900 0.1% 2500 11.9% 231300
South Dakota 2.9% 0.0% -0.1% 0.2% 43 1.6% 7200 -0.1% -500 9.4% 38400
Tennessee 3.5% 0.2% 0.0% -1.9% 24 1.5% 45900 0.4% 12700 11.0% 310000
Texas 3.4% -0.1% -0.3% -0.9% 27 2.4% 303500 0.7% 92700 21.6% 2287300
Utah 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% -0.1% 45 2.8% 42100 0.8% 12600 23.8% 301400
Vermont 2.1% 0.0% -0.5% -2.1% 51 0.2% 600 -0.1% -300 3.0% 9400
Virginia 2.8% -0.2% 0.0% -0.5% 46 0.9% 36700 0.2% 9100 6.9% 262300
Washington 4.6% 0.0% 0.2% -0.1% 6 2.6% 89000 0.5% 16400 16.9% 507700
West Virginia 4.6% -0.2% -0.5% 0.0% 7 0.7% 5100 -0.1% -1100 0.8% 5600
Wisconsin 3.1% 0.3% 0.1% -1.6% 39 0.1% 1900 -0.2% -4900 3.5% 100400
Wyoming 3.7% 0.2% -0.5% 0.9% 20 1.3% 3800 -0.3% -1000 -2.0% -5800

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.