Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Updated October 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.

September

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 4.1% 0.0% 0.2% -0.2% 32 1.3% 25,800 0.3% 6,700 0.6% 13,000
Alaska 6.5% -0.6% -0.7% 0.1% 51 -0.7% -2300 -0.3% -1000 2.3% 7,200
Arizona 4.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% 46 2.9% 81,400 1.3% 38,000 7.4% 197,100
Arkansas 3.5% -0.3% -0.2% -1.6% 18 1.1% 13,200 0.5% 5900 3.8% 46,300
California 4.1% -0.1% -0.4% -1.8% 33 2.0% 339,600 0.5% 90,200 11.1% 1,723,000
Colorado 3.1% 0.4% 0.1% -1.0% 12 2.9% 77,200 0.5% 13,600 16.9% 397,900
Connecticut 4.2% -0.2% -0.3% -0.7% 38 1.2% 19900 0.2% 3,300 -0.2% -4,000
Delaware 4.0% 0.1% -0.5% 0.3% 30 1.8% 8000 0.8% 3500 5.1% 22,700
Washington D.C. 5.7% 0.1% -0.3% 0.1% 50 1.0% 8,000 0.8% 6000 14.2% 99,500
Florida 3.5% -0.3% -0.4% -1.2% 19 4.8% 407,300 0.8% 69,100 11.5% 910,700
Georgia 3.7% -0.4% -0.8% -1.3% 25 2.5% 111,100 0.9% 39,000 9.6% 399,900
Hawaii 2.2% 0.1% 0.0% -0.9% 1 1.8% 11,600 0.3% 1800 5.9% 36,900
Idaho 2.7% -0.2% -0.3% -0.4% 3 2.7% 19,200 0.1% 500 12.6% 82,700
Illinois 4.1% -0.2% -0.9% -1.3% 34 0.8% 50,300 0.0% -300 2.3% 139,700
Indiana 3.5% 0.2% 0.0% -1.2% 20 0.9% 28,000 0.5% 16,700 4.8% 144,300
Iowa 2.5% -0.2% -0.5% -1.2% 2 1.1% 17,600 -0.1% -2100 4.3% 64,900
Kansas 3.3% -0.1% -0.3% -1.0% 15 1.4% 19,600 0.0% -500 2.7% 37,100
Kentucky 4.5% 0.3% -0.2% -0.9% 42 0.8% 14,500 0.4% 8400 4.3% 80,400
Louisiana 5.0% 0.3% 0.2% 0.8% 48 1.0% 19900 0.0% -600 2.7% 52,100
Maine 3.3% 0.4% 0.0% -1.5% 16 0.7% 4500 -0.1% -900 1.3% 8000
Maryland 4.2% -0.1% 0.2% 0.9% 39 0.9% 25,200 0.5% 14000 5.2% 136,800
Massachusetts 3.6% 0.1% 0.0% -1.0% 22 1.8% 63,400 0.1% 2,100 10.8% 358,600
Michigan 4.0% -0.4% -0.7% -3.2% 31 1.4% 63,300 0.2% 9,500 4.5% 192,800
Minnesota 2.8% -0.3% -0.5% -1.9% 6 1.3% 38,200 0.2% 7200 7.3% 203,200
Mississippi 4.8% 0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 47 1.8% 20,300 0.3% 3200 0.8% 9,700
Missouri 3.2% -0.3% -0.4% -2.2% 13 1.4% 39,300 0.2% 6,500 3.9% 108,500
Montana 3.6% -0.2% -0.5% -0.6% 23 1.6% 7,400 0.7% 3100 7.5% 33,400
Nebraska 2.8% -0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 7 1.7% 17,400 0.3% 2,900 6.9% 66,600
Nevada 4.5% -0.2% -0.4% -0.5% 43 3.2% 43,500 1.0% 14,200 7.9% 101,500
New Hampshire 2.7% 0.0% 0.1% -0.8% 4 2.2% 14,900 0.2% 1400 6.1% 39,700
New Jersey 4.2% -0.1% -0.5% -0.3% 40 1.4% 58,000 0.2% 8,400 2.7% 111,600
New Mexico 4.6% -0.3% -1.4% 0.7% 44 2.6% 21,200 0.9% 7,800 0.2% 1,300
New York 4.1% -0.4% -0.6% -0.7% 35 1.0% 95,300 0.1% 6,900 9.9% 871,200
North Carolina 3.8% -0.4% -0.6% -1.1% 26 1.9% 82,300 -0.3% -13,800 8.2% 340,000
North Dakota 2.7% 0.1% 0.1% -0.3% 5 1.1% 4800 0.5% 2300 20.1% 72,800
Ohio 4.6% 0.1% -0.4% -1.0% 45 1.9% 104,600 0.5% 30,400 4.1% 220,800
Oklahoma 3.5% -0.4% -0.6% -0.1% 21 2.0% 34,000 0.5% 8900 5.9% 94,400
Oregon 3.8% -0.2% -0.4% -1.5% 27 2.3% 43,200 0.3% 6,100 10.6% 184,700
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.2% -0.7% -0.6% 36 1.3% 78,700 0.3% 17,200 3.9% 224,000
Rhode Island 3.9% -0.4% -0.6% -2.1% 29 1.4% 7,000 -0.1% -500 2.9% 14,300
South Carolina 3.3% -0.5% -0.9% -2.3% 17 1.3% 27,600 -0.6% -13400 8.4% 164,000
South Dakota 3.0% -0.2% -0.4% 0.3% 10 1.4% 6200 0.4% 1600 8.1% 33,200
Tennessee 3.6% 0.1% 0.3% -1.8% 24 2.1% 63,900 0.5% 15800 9.9% 276,500
Texas 3.8% -0.2% -0.2% -0.5% 28 3.3% 406,400 0.5% 65,300 19.7% 2,076,400
Utah 3.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.3% 14 3.6% 52,400 0.9% 14,200 20.8% 262,700
Vermont 2.9% 0.1% 0.0% -1.3% 8 -0.6% -1900 -1.0% -3100 1.3% 4,000
Virginia 2.9% -0.3% -0.7% -0.4% 9 1.7% 68,400 0.5% 19,800 6.6% 248,200
Washington 4.4% -0.3% -0.3% -0.3% 41 3.2% 105,200 0.8% 25,700 14.9% 447,400
West Virginia 5.2% -0.1% -0.1% 0.6% 49 0.8% 5900 0.1% 600 -1.1% -8500
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.1% -0.3% -1.7% 11 1.4% 41,700 0.3% 8,900 3.7% 107,500
Wyoming 4.1% 0.4% 0.0% 1.3% 37 2.2% 6,300 0.7% 2100 -2.2% -6,400

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.