A few weeks after every big monthly job report comes out, more detailed information is released showing a breakdown of the employment gains and losses in each state. The latest of these extended reports showed that nonfarm payrolls increased in ten states in December, and decreased in three states. Twenty-five states posted year-over-year increases in nonfarm employment in 2017, and no state recorded an annual decline. The largest absolute gains last year occurred in California (+342,500), Texas (+306,900), and Florida (+213,500), while the biggest percentage increases were located in Nevada (+3.3 percent), Oregon (+2.7 percent), and Utah (+2.6 percent).
As for joblessness, the unemployment rate fell in twenty-five states over the past year, with the largest declines found in Alabama and Tennessee (-2.8 percentage points and -1.9 points, respectively). The only year-over-year increases in the rates of joblessness occurred in Alaska and South Dakota (+0.7 percentage point and +0.6 points, respectively). The lowest unemployment rate in America in December could be found in Hawaii (2.0 percent), while Alaska had the highest rate of joblessness last month (7.3 percent). For comparison, the national rate of unemployment (U-3) was 4.1 percent in December.
Sources: U.S. DoL, Calculated RiskPost author: Charles Couch