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News from EPI The unemployment rate fell in most states in 2018: 44 states and the District of Columbia showed job gains in December

The State and Regional Employment report for December, released on this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), showed continued job gains in 44 states and the District of Columbia, with six states experiencing job losses. Additionally, in 38 states and the District of Columbia the unemployment rate either declined or held steady.

“In 2018, the unemployment rate fell in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and the economy added 220,000 jobs every month on average,” said Economic Analyst Jessica Schieder. “This is good news, but 2019 could potentially bring  tighter Fed policy and slower government spending. With any boost from the tax cuts behind us, these factors could rein in growth even as workers are still continuing to rejoin the labor market.”

From September to December, 48 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with South Carolina (1.7 percent), Nevada (1.4 percent), South Dakota (1.1 percent), Wyoming (1.0 percent), and Alabama (0.9 percent) having the highest percent change in job growth. Over the last three months, the number of jobs fell in two states, Alaska (-0.3 percent) and Maine (-0.2 percent).

From July to October, unemployment rates fell in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Delaware (-0.3 percentage points), Maryland (-0.3 percentage points), Massachusetts (-0.3 percentage points), and Oklahoma (-0.3 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment rates. The unemployment rate increased in 12 states. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Colorado (0.4 percentage points), Hawaii (0.3 percentage points), and Oregon (0.3 percentage points).

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 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -0.6% 25 1.6% 32500 0.5% 9600 1.7% 35100
Alaska 6.5% 0.0% -0.2% 0.1% 1 0.9% 3100 0.6% 1900 3.8% 12000
Arizona 5.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.7% 5 2.3% 66000 0.4% 11000 8.3% 221900
Arkansas 3.7% 0.0% -0.1% -1.4% 26 0.9% 11700 0.3% 3500 5.5% 66300
California 4.3% 0.2% 0.0% -1.6% 12 1.4% 238500 0.3% 51300 12.1% 1872300
Colorado 3.5% -0.1% 0.6% -0.6% 30 1.7% 45100 0.3% 8400 17.3% 405500
Connecticut 3.9% 0.1% -0.5% -1.0% 19 0.4% 7300 -0.2% -3400 -0.9% -16000
Delaware 3.3% -0.3% -0.7% -0.4% 34 1.0% 4500 0.3% 1300 5.5% 24200
Washington D.C. 5.6% 0.2% -0.2% 0.0% 2 0.5% 3900 0.4% 3000 13.8% 96600
Florida 3.5% 0.2% -0.3% -1.2% 31 2.4% 209700 0.5% 40300 12.6% 1001700
Georgia 3.9% 0.2% -0.3% -1.1% 20 1.9% 85200 0.4% 17200 10.4% 432900
Hawaii 2.8% 0.2% 0.5% -0.3% 45 0.2% 1400 -0.2% -1100 4.8% 30400
Idaho 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -0.2% 42 2.7% 19400 1.2% 8800 14.4% 94500
Illinois 4.4% 0.1% 0.1% -1.0% 9 0.8% 47400 0.2% 13100 3.0% 179500
Indiana 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.1% 29 1.3% 41200 0.6% 19700 6.3% 188500
Iowa 2.4% 0.0% -0.3% -1.3% 48 0.2% 3900 -0.6% -8800 3.9% 59300
Kansas 3.5% 0.2% 0.1% -0.8% 32 0.4% 5900 -0.5% -6500 2.1% 29500
Kentucky 4.0% -0.3% -0.3% -1.4% 15 0.9% 17400 0.4% 8200 4.9% 90200
Louisiana 4.7% -0.2% -0.1% 0.5% 7 0.0% 400 0.1% 2400 2.4% 46600
Maine 3.4% -0.1% 0.2% -1.4% 33 0.5% 3000 0.8% 4900 1.9% 11700
Maryland 3.8% 0.1% -0.3% 0.5% 22 0.6% 15600 0.1% 2000 5.6% 145300
Massachusetts 3.0% -0.1% -0.5% -1.6% 40 0.8% 28200 0.7% 24100 10.7% 355400
Michigan 4.0% 0.0% -0.4% -3.2% 16 0.6% 25600 0.2% 10900 4.6% 195400
Minnesota 3.2% 0.3% 0.2% -1.5% 37 0.3% 7900 -0.1% -3100 6.8% 188200
Mississippi 4.9% 0.2% 0.0% -0.9% 6 0.7% 7500 -0.2% -2900 0.0% -400
Missouri 3.3% 0.2% -0.1% -2.1% 35 0.4% 10300 0.1% 3300 3.1% 87900
Montana 3.7% 0.0% 0.0% -0.5% 27 0.9% 4400 -0.3% -1300 7.5% 33500
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 46 0.0% 200 -0.1% -1000 5.7% 54900
Nevada 4.2% -0.2% -0.5% -0.8% 13 3.4% 47200 0.6% 8000 9.9% 127700
New Hampshire 2.4% 0.0% -0.2% -1.1% 49 1.1% 7700 0.6% 3900 5.9% 38200
New Jersey 4.1% 0.2% -0.3% -0.4% 14 1.1% 44800 0.3% 10700 2.8% 115100
New Mexico 5.1% 0.1% 0.1% 1.2% 3 1.2% 9900 0.5% 4500 0.1% 1200
New York 4.0% 0.1% -0.4% -0.8% 17 1.1% 106000 0.5% 47800 11.3% 994300
North Carolina 4.0% 0.3% -0.1% -0.9% 18 1.4% 62900 0.9% 41100 9.0% 374700
North Dakota 2.3% -0.3% -0.4% -0.7% 50 0.2% 700 -0.3% -1100 19.7% 71400
Ohio 4.4% -0.2% -0.1% -1.2% 10 0.7% 39800 0.3% 16200 3.3% 181400
Oklahoma 3.3% 0.2% -0.4% -0.3% 36 0.5% 8300 -0.2% -4200 5.4% 87000
Oregon 4.4% 0.1% 0.3% -0.9% 11 1.7% 32600 0.9% 17300 11.5% 199900
Pennsylvania 3.9% -0.3% -0.5% -0.8% 21 0.8% 50900 0.2% 13800 4.0% 233100
Rhode Island 3.8% -0.2% -0.4% -2.2% 23 -0.2% -1000 -0.6% -2800 1.5% 7300
South Carolina 3.2% 0.0% -0.5% -2.4% 38 1.4% 31000 0.2% 3500 11.3% 221000
South Dakota 2.8% -0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 47 2.0% 8700 0.2% 900 9.4% 38300
Tennessee 3.2% -0.1% -0.4% -2.2% 39 1.6% 47800 0.2% 6700 10.3% 288400
Texas 3.8% 0.1% -0.2% -0.5% 24 2.2% 271000 0.5% 59800 20.1% 2124900
Utah 3.0% -0.2% -0.1% 0.1% 41 3.0% 44500 0.6% 8700 22.4% 283300
Vermont 2.3% -0.3% -0.4% -1.9% 51 0.3% 1100 0.0% 0 2.6% 8000
Virginia 2.9% 0.1% -0.3% -0.4% 43 0.9% 35500 0.6% 25000 6.7% 254000
Washington 4.6% 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 8 2.4% 80500 0.7% 23900 15.7% 470800
West Virginia 5.1% 0.0% -0.3% 0.5% 4 2.7% 19200 1.1% 7700 1.2% 8700
Wisconsin 2.9% -0.1% -0.1% -1.8% 44 0.3% 9200 0.0% -1400 3.7% 105400
Wyoming 3.7% -0.4% -0.2% 0.9% 28 1.7% 4900 0.2% 600 -1.8% -5400

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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