Economic Indicators

State Jobs Picture

Press release

Updated January 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 3.9% -0.2% 0.1% -0.4% 29 2.2% 43,600 0.9% 17,600 1.6% 32,600
Alaska 6.3% -0.2% -0.9% -0.1% 51 -0.1% -400 -0.3% -1100 2.2% 7,100
Arizona 4.8% 0.2% 0.1% 0.5% 47 3.4% 94,100 0.5% 13,900 7.8% 209,700
Arkansas 3.6% 0.1% -0.1% -1.5% 21 1.4% 17,100 0.2% 2,600 4.0% 48,700
California 4.2% 0.1% -0.3% -1.7% 38 1.7% 284,300 0.5% 87,000 11.7% 1,807,300
Colorado 3.5% 0.4% 0.5% -0.6% 20 2.8% 75,400 0.7% 19,900 17.5% 412,000
Connecticut 4.0% -0.2% -0.5% -0.9% 33 1.2% 19,900 0.3% 5,100 0.0% 200
Delaware 3.7% -0.3% -0.8% 0.0% 26 2.2% 10,200 0.6% 2,700 5.6% 24,800
Washington D.C. 5.5% -0.2% -0.4% -0.1% 50 0.3% 2300 0.1% 800 13.7% 96,200
Florida 3.3% -0.2% -0.6% -1.4% 15 2.7% 231,200 0.7% 61,700 12.1% 959,500
Georgia 3.6% -0.1% -0.9% -1.4% 22 2.5% 113,800 0.6% 27,600 10.3% 430,700
Hawaii 2.5% 0.3% 0.4% -0.6% 2 1.4% 9,500 0.3% 2,100 6.2% 38,800
Idaho 2.6% -0.1% -0.4% -0.5% 4 2.0% 14,500 0.6% 4100 13.2% 86,400
Illinois 4.3% 0.2% -0.6% -1.1% 40 1.2% 71,000 0.5% 28,400 2.8% 167,000
Indiana 3.6% 0.1% 0.2% -1.1% 23 1.4% 44,500 0.7% 23,400 5.5% 166,100
Iowa 2.4% -0.1% -0.5% -1.3% 1 1.0% 15,500 0.4% 6700 4.8% 72,900
Kansas 3.3% 0.0% -0.2% -1.0% 16 1.4% 20,100 0.4% 6,400 3.2% 44,600
Kentucky 4.4% -0.1% -0.1% -1.0% 42 1.1% 21,300 0.6% 11,100 4.7% 87,300
Louisiana 4.9% -0.1% 0.2% 0.7% 48 1.1% 21,900 0.1% 2,500 2.9% 56,900
Maine 3.4% 0.1% 0.3% -1.4% 19 0.7% 4,300 -0.2% -1000 1.2% 7,400
Maryland 3.9% -0.3% -0.2% 0.6% 30 1.9% 50,900 0.6% 16,100 5.8% 151,200
Massachusetts 3.3% -0.3% -0.2% -1.3% 17 1.8% 65,800 0.4% 15,300 11.3% 375,600
Michigan 4.0% 0.0% -0.7% -3.2% 34 1.3% 55,000 0.3% 11,800 4.8% 203,400
Minnesota 2.8% 0.0% -0.5% -1.9% 7 1.1% 32,200 0.0% 1,200 7.4% 206,300
Mississippi 4.7% -0.1% -0.1% -1.1% 45 0.9% 11,000 0.4% 4,900 1.1% 12,600
Missouri 3.1% -0.1% -0.6% -2.3% 12 1.4% 39,000 0.2% 6,400 4.2% 117,300
Montana 3.7% 0.1% -0.4% -0.5% 27 1.0% 4,700 0.4% 1,800 7.8% 35,000
Nebraska 2.8% 0.0% -0.1% -0.2% 8 1.2% 12,700 0.0% 500 6.8% 66,200
Nevada 4.4% -0.1% -0.5% -0.6% 43 3.9% 52,400 1.4% 19,400 9.3% 119,600
New Hampshire 2.5% -0.2% -0.1% -1.0% 3 2.7% 18,100 0.7% 5,100 7.1% 46,300
New Jersey 4.0% -0.2% -0.7% -0.5% 35 1.5% 61,900 0.3% 12,800 3.0% 124,400
New Mexico 4.7% 0.1% -1.3% 0.8% 46 2.4% 19,900 0.4% 3,100 0.8% 6,500
New York 3.9% -0.2% -0.8% -0.9% 31 1.3% 121,900 0.5% 48,100 10.6% 925,600
North Carolina 3.6% -0.2% -0.9% -1.3% 24 2.0% 87,200 0.6% 25,400 8.9% 371,700
North Dakota 2.7% 0.0% 0.1% -0.3% 5 2.1% 9,000 0.0% 200 20.2% 73,200
Ohio 4.6% 0.0% -0.3% -1.0% 44 2.1% 116,500 0.3% 14,500 4.3% 232,700
Oklahoma 3.2% -0.3% -0.9% -0.4% 13 1.5% 25,500 0.2% 3,700 6.0% 96,900
Oregon 4.1% 0.3% 0.0% -1.2% 36 1.9% 35,100 0.3% 4,900 11.2% 194,000
Pennsylvania 4.2% 0.1% -0.6% -0.5% 39 1.2% 74,800 0.4% 23,500 4.4% 256,800
Rhode Island 3.9% 0.0% -0.6% -2.1% 32 1.4% 7,100 0.5% 2400 3.5% 17,200
South Carolina 3.3% 0.0% -0.9% -2.3% 18 2.0% 41,200 1.7% 36,100 10.4% 202,200
South Dakota 2.9% -0.1% -0.5% 0.2% 10 2.0% 8,800 1.1% 4,700 9.5% 38,800
Tennessee 3.6% 0.0% 0.3% -1.8% 25 2.0% 59,100 0.3% 7,700 10.0% 281,800
Texas 3.7% -0.1% -0.3% -0.6% 28 3.2% 391,800 0.7% 90,700 20.7% 2,182,000
Utah 3.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 14 3.1% 46,400 0.8% 11,900 21.5% 271,500
Vermont 2.7% -0.2% -0.2% -1.5% 6 -0.1% -200 0.2% 600 1.6% 4,800
Virginia 2.8% -0.1% -0.8% -0.5% 9 1.9% 77,000 0.2% 6,100 6.7% 254,100
Washington 4.3% -0.1% -0.4% -0.4% 41 3.1% 104,000 0.8% 26,400 15.9% 477,600
West Virginia 5.1% -0.1% -0.3% 0.5% 49 0.6% 4,700 0.2% 1,300 -0.9% -6,900
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.0% -0.2% -1.7% 11 1.6% 48,300 0.7% 19,400 4.3% 123,900
Wyoming 4.1% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 37 2.8% 8,000 1.0% 2,800 -1.2% -3,600

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 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.