Total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted (SA) increased by 2.5 million jobs, year-over-year (YoY), or 1.7% from February 2018 to February 2019. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western and Southern regions increased by 1.7%. The Midwest and the Northeast recorded the lowest gains at 0.7% and 0.8% respectively, during this time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 24 states, decreased in 26 states and the District of Columbia in February 2019 compared to January 2019. Florida added 25,200 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state. The largest decline came from Illinois which lost 12,600 jobs during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by only 20,000 over the month of February, weaker than the increase of 311,000 jobs added in January.
Year-over-year, ending in February, except for Rhode Island, all other states and the District of Columbia increased in employment. Texas added 268,800 workers while the smallest gain came from Vermont which added 1,400 workers during this time. Rhode Island lost 1,600 payroll jobs during this time. In percentage terms, 12 states recorded annualized growth equal to and/or above 1.7% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Nevada recorded the highest growth rate at 3.5%. The other 38 states and the District of Columbia recorded annualized growth between -0.3%-1.6%.
In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 16 states had an increase in February, 31 states reported a decline, and Vermont remained unchanged compared to January. Georgia added 2,300 jobs, the highest gains in construction employees while California lost 7,700 workers during this time.
Year-over-year, the U.S added 223,000 construction sector jobs which is a 3.1% increase compared to February 2018. Texas added 22,700, which was the largest gains of any state while Louisiana lost 5,500, which was the largest decline of any state. In percentage terms, West Virginia had the highest annual growth in construction sector by 46.4%. Over this period, Maine reported the largest decline at 6.8%.