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.

January

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% -0.1% -0.5% 20 1.4% 27600 0.4% 7700 1.3% 25800
Alaska 6.5% 0.0% -0.3% 0.1% 1 0.1% 300 -0.1% -400 2.9% 9400
Arizona 5.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.8% 5 2.8% 78700 0.6% 17300 8.2% 218600
Arkansas 3.7% 0.0% -0.1% -1.4% 27 1.0% 12600 0.5% 6900 5.4% 64600
California 4.2% 0.1% -0.2% -1.7% 13 1.4% 246400 0.3% 45700 11.8% 1824000
Colorado 3.7% 0.1% 0.8% -0.4% 32 1.8% 49300 0.4% 10500 17.0% 399500
Connecticut 3.8% 0.0% -0.8% -1.1% 17 0.7% 11400 0.2% 3800 -0.7% -11600
Delaware 3.5% -0.1% -0.6% -0.2% 24 1.6% 7400 0.8% 3900 5.8% 25400
Washington D.C. 5.4% 0.1% -0.4% -0.2% 2 0.3% 2600 -0.2% -1500 13.3% 92900
Florida 3.4% 0.1% -0.5% -1.3% 34 2.4% 209500 0.6% 49900 12.2% 969700
Georgia 3.8% 0.1% -0.5% -1.2% 28 2.1% 93900 0.5% 20900 10.0% 418500
Hawaii 2.7% 0.1% 0.4% -0.4% 49 0.4% 2600 0.2% 1500 4.8% 30200
Idaho 2.8% 0.1% -0.2% -0.3% 48 2.4% 17300 0.8% 5900 13.7% 90200
Illinois 4.3% 0.1% -0.1% -1.1% 11 1.3% 78000 0.6% 37400 3.2% 190800
Indiana 3.5% 0.0% 0.2% -1.2% 29 1.1% 35400 0.7% 22300 5.9% 176100
Iowa 2.4% 0.0% -0.4% -1.3% 51 0.9% 13900 0.4% 5600 4.5% 68600
Kansas 3.4% 0.1% -0.1% -0.9% 35 1.0% 14300 0.3% 4100 2.6% 36500
Kentucky 4.2% -0.1% -0.1% -1.2% 9 1.2% 22700 0.7% 13500 4.8% 88900
Louisiana 4.9% 0.0% 0.2% 0.7% 4 0.5% 10200 -0.1% -2700 2.4% 46300
Maine 3.5% 0.0% 0.3% -1.3% 33 0.6% 3900 0.7% 4600 1.7% 10800
Maryland 3.7% 0.0% -0.5% 0.4% 21 0.9% 23500 0.6% 16600 5.6% 146400
Massachusetts 3.1% 0.0% -0.5% -1.5% 36 0.7% 27200 0.5% 17700 10.3% 342700
Michigan 4.0% 0.0% -0.5% -3.2% 18 1.1% 47000 0.3% 15300 4.6% 194300
Minnesota 3.0% 0.2% -0.1% -1.7% 43 0.4% 11600 0.1% 2800 7.0% 195100
Mississippi 4.7% 0.0% -0.2% -1.1% 6 0.9% 10900 0.2% 2400 0.2% 1800
Missouri 3.2% 0.2% -0.3% -2.2% 40 0.8% 23100 0.5% 14500 3.3% 93900
Montana 3.8% 0.1% 0.0% -0.4% 25 1.1% 5200 0.5% 2600 7.7% 34500
Nebraska 2.8% 0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 44 0.5% 5100 0.4% 4600 6.1% 59100
Nevada 4.4% 0.0% -0.4% -0.6% 10 3.9% 53300 0.8% 11600 9.6% 123500
New Hampshire 2.4% 0.0% -0.3% -1.1% 50 0.8% 5500 0.4% 2600 5.5% 35400
New Jersey 4.0% 0.1% -0.6% -0.5% 19 1.4% 58000 0.5% 21300 3.0% 122200
New Mexico 5.1% 0.1% -0.1% 1.2% 7 1.3% 10500 0.5% 4300 0.0% -300
New York 3.9% 0.1% -0.6% -0.9% 22 1.1% 107200 0.2% 24100 10.9% 956300
North Carolina 3.8% 0.1% -0.4% -1.1% 30 1.7% 73800 0.8% 36100 8.8% 368300
North Dakota 2.5% -0.1% -0.2% -0.5% 46 0.9% 4100 0.3% 1200 20.4% 73700
Ohio 4.7% 0.1% 0.2% -0.9% 8 1.0% 55500 0.6% 31100 3.4% 185500
Oklahoma 3.2% 0.1% -0.7% -0.4% 38 0.8% 13500 0.0% -400 5.4% 86800
Oregon 4.3% 0.1% 0.1% -1.0% 15 1.5% 28200 0.7% 13500 11.1% 193600
Pennsylvania 4.1% -0.1% -0.5% -0.6% 14 0.8% 45500 0.0% -500 3.8% 218800
Rhode Island 4.0% 0.0% -0.4% -2.0% 23 0.5% 2400 -0.2% -900 1.7% 8400
South Carolina 3.2% 0.0% -0.7% -2.4% 37 1.6% 34300 0.9% 19700 11.5% 224900
South Dakota 2.9% 0.0% -0.2% 0.2% 42 2.5% 10900 1.5% 6600 9.7% 39700
Tennessee 3.3% 0.0% -0.3% -2.1% 31 2.0% 61200 0.5% 14600 10.3% 290000
Texas 3.8% 0.1% -0.3% -0.5% 26 2.4% 292000 0.4% 49000 19.7% 2080500
Utah 3.1% -0.1% 0.0% 0.2% 39 3.4% 50900 0.9% 14500 22.2% 280700
Vermont 2.5% -0.1% -0.2% -1.7% 47 0.6% 2000 -0.4% -1300 2.2% 6800
Virginia 2.8% 0.0% -0.5% -0.5% 45 1.1% 44100 0.8% 32200 6.7% 252700
Washington 4.5% 0.1% -0.1% -0.2% 12 2.5% 83900 0.9% 29600 15.3% 459200
West Virginia 5.2% 0.1% -0.2% 0.6% 3 2.7% 19500 1.1% 8100 1.2% 8800
Wisconsin 3.0% 0.0% 0.1% -1.7% 41 0.7% 21600 0.9% 26600 3.9% 111700
Wyoming 4.0% -0.2% 0.0% 1.2% 16 1.4% 4000 0.8% 2300 -1.9% -5600

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.