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.

April

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% -0.3% -0.5% 19 1.7% 34000 0.4% 8000 1.9% 38000
Alaska 6.5% 0.0% -0.2% 0.1% 1 1.6% 5100 0.5% 1600 4.1% 13100
Arizona 4.9% -0.2% 0.1% 0.6% 4 2.8% 78000 0.5% 15800 8.7% 234100
Arkansas 3.6% -0.1% -0.1% -1.5% 26 1.1% 13400 0.1% 1300 5.5% 66700
California 4.3% 0.1% 0.0% -1.6% 10 1.6% 271600 0.6% 95400 12.4% 1922300
Colorado 3.4% -0.3% 0.4% -0.7% 31 1.8% 49100 0.6% 16300 17.7% 415400
Connecticut 3.8% 0.0% -0.5% -1.1% 20 0.7% 11600 0.1% 1000 -0.8% -14100
Delaware 3.2% -0.3% -0.7% -0.5% 38 0.9% 4000 0.0% 100 5.4% 23800
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.2% -0.1% 0.0% 2 0.5% 3900 0.1% 1000 13.8% 96700
Florida 3.4% 0.0% -0.3% -1.3% 32 2.4% 206100 0.5% 46300 12.8% 1012100
Georgia 3.8% 0.0% -0.3% -1.2% 21 1.5% 69700 -0.2% -10300 10.0% 415700
Hawaii 2.8% 0.1% 0.5% -0.3% 44 0.6% 3800 0.3% 1800 5.1% 32000
Idaho 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.3% 45 2.5% 18700 0.7% 5600 14.6% 96000
Illinois 4.4% 0.1% 0.1% -1.0% 9 1.4% 83500 0.1% 4000 3.3% 197100
Indiana 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.1% 27 1.2% 38700 0.0% 1400 6.0% 181000
Iowa 2.4% 0.0% -0.2% -1.3% 48 0.7% 10900 -0.3% -4200 4.2% 63900
Kansas 3.5% 0.1% 0.1% -0.8% 30 0.9% 12400 0.1% 1800 2.7% 37300
Kentucky 4.0% -0.2% -0.4% -1.4% 14 1.0% 19500 0.1% 2800 5.0% 93300
Louisiana 4.5% -0.4% -0.4% 0.3% 8 0.1% 1100 0.0% -800 2.3% 45400
Maine 3.3% -0.2% 0.0% -1.5% 34 0.5% 3200 0.0% 200 1.9% 11700
Maryland 3.8% 0.1% -0.3% 0.5% 22 0.7% 19300 -0.1% -2200 5.6% 145700
Massachusetts 2.9% -0.2% -0.6% -1.7% 40 1.0% 37100 0.3% 12200 10.8% 356700
Michigan 4.1% 0.1% -0.2% -3.1% 13 0.8% 37300 0.1% 4000 4.7% 200200
Minnesota 3.3% 0.3% 0.3% -1.4% 35 0.8% 22800 -0.1% -2700 6.9% 192000
Mississippi 4.9% 0.2% 0.1% -0.9% 5 1.0% 11200 0.2% 2900 0.4% 4100
Missouri 3.3% 0.1% 0.0% -2.1% 36 1.0% 30000 0.5% 13800 3.7% 103700
Montana 3.6% -0.2% -0.1% -0.6% 28 0.8% 3900 -0.2% -1000 7.4% 33100
Nebraska 2.9% 0.1% 0.1% -0.1% 41 0.3% 3200 -0.3% -2900 5.9% 56800
Nevada 4.0% -0.4% -0.6% -1.0% 15 3.6% 49600 0.4% 6100 10.3% 132800
New Hampshire 2.4% 0.0% -0.2% -1.1% 49 1.5% 9900 0.4% 3000 6.1% 39700
New Jersey 3.9% -0.1% -0.4% -0.6% 17 1.4% 56300 0.3% 13000 3.2% 129600
New Mexico 5.0% -0.1% 0.1% 1.1% 3 1.6% 13100 0.5% 4400 0.4% 3700
New York 3.9% 0.0% -0.4% -0.9% 18 1.4% 135200 0.6% 56500 11.7% 1022800
North Carolina 4.0% 0.2% 0.0% -0.9% 16 1.6% 69800 0.5% 23000 9.3% 389100
North Dakota 2.3% -0.2% -0.3% -0.7% 50 0.7% 2900 -0.2% -1000 20.0% 72300
Ohio 4.3% -0.4% -0.3% -1.3% 11 0.8% 44400 -0.1% -5700 3.3% 178600
Oklahoma 3.3% 0.1% -0.3% -0.3% 37 1.0% 17000 0.3% 5200 5.8% 92300
Oregon 4.3% 0.0% 0.2% -1.0% 12 2.0% 38300 0.4% 8600 11.7% 204000
Pennsylvania 3.8% -0.3% -0.5% -0.9% 23 1.0% 58300 0.3% 18100 4.2% 244700
Rhode Island 3.7% -0.3% -0.4% -2.3% 24 1.0% 5000 1.0% 5100 2.6% 12700
South Carolina 3.4% 0.2% -0.1% -2.2% 33 2.0% 42300 0.3% 6200 11.8% 229500
South Dakota 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 46 2.6% 11200 -0.4% -1700 9.3% 37900
Tennessee 3.2% -0.1% -0.4% -2.2% 39 1.7% 51600 0.0% 400 10.4% 292800
Texas 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -0.6% 25 2.4% 294200 0.7% 82900 20.4% 2158800
Utah 2.9% -0.2% -0.2% 0.0% 42 3.0% 45600 0.4% 5600 22.6% 286100
Vermont 2.2% -0.3% -0.5% -2.0% 51 1.3% 4100 1.0% 3000 3.2% 9800
Virginia 2.9% 0.1% -0.2% -0.4% 43 1.1% 43100 0.3% 12100 6.9% 261500
Washington 4.7% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 7 2.7% 91500 0.8% 26800 16.2% 484100
West Virginia 4.9% -0.3% -0.5% 0.3% 6 1.8% 13200 -0.2% -1400 0.8% 5900
Wisconsin 2.8% -0.2% -0.2% -1.9% 47 0.5% 15100 -0.4% -10900 3.5% 100000
Wyoming 3.6% -0.4% -0.4% 0.8% 29 1.4% 4100 0.0% -100 -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.