Year-over-year (YoY), total nonfarm employment increased by 2.1 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis (SA), or 1.4% from December 2018 to December 2019. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western region increased by 2.0%. The South, Northeast, and Midwest recorded gains at 1.8%, 0.9% and 0.5% respectively, during this time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and decreased in 16 states and the District of Columbia, in December compared to the previous month. North Dakota was unchanged. Texas added 26,800 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state. The largest decline came from Pennsylvania, which lost 9,700 jobs during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 145,000 over the month of December, following an increase of 256,000 jobs in November.
Year-over-year, ending in December, 45 states and the District of Columbia increased in employment. Five states reported declines in payroll employment. Texas added 342,800 workers while the smallest gain came from Alaska which added 100 workers during this time. In percentage terms, 19 states and the District of Columbia recorded annualized growth rates equal to and/or above 1.4% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Utah recorded the highest growth rate at 3.1%.
In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 29 states had an increase in December, while 15 states reported a decline compared to November. Four states were unchanged. The construction industry gained 20,000 jobs in December. Texas added 3,800 jobs, the highest gains in construction employees while Nevada lost 2,700 workers during this time.
Year-over-year, the U.S added 151,000 construction sector jobs which is a 2.0% increase compared to December 2018. Texas added 55,900 jobs, which was the largest gains of any state while Ohio lost 9,000 jobs, which was the largest decline of any state. In percentage terms, Maine had the highest annual growth rate in construction sector by 11.5%. Over this period, Wyoming reported the largest decline at 9.5%.