The latest state-level job report from the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that total nonfarm employment increased in California (+46,200), Texas (+45,000), Georgia (+20,200), and Tennessee (+9,600) in June, and was essentially unchanged everywhere else. The gain in Texas last month stands out because it was the largest since 2017 with growth seen in nearly every major industry. This is likely in part a reflection of The Lone Star State’s lower tax and regulatory burdens, and other states with similarly favorable business conditions have also outperformed in terms of job creation during the current economic expansion.
As for joblessness, the unemployment rate declined in six states in June and three states over the past 12 months. The rates of joblessness set new record lows in Alabama (3.5 percent), Arkansas (3.5 percent), New Jersey (3.5 percent), and Texas (3.4 percent) in June, and Vermont once again had the lowest unemployment rate in the country (2.1 percent). Only nine states last month had a rate of joblessness that was higher than the national level (3.7 percent). For an additional comparison, during the worst part of the “Great Recession” eleven states had an unemployment rate that exceeded 11 percent, while the highest rate of joblessness in the entire country last month was just 6.4 percent (Alaska). A more detailed look at the employment landscape in America can be found in our Labor Market Snapshot, one of a growing series of economic reports we update regularly.
Sources: U.S. DoL, Wells Fargo, Calculated Risk