Employment Rose in Most States


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states and decreased in 17 states and the District of Columbia in November 2017 compared to October 2017 while the level of employment in Maine remained unchanged. Year-over-year, 47 states increased employment while four states lost payroll employment during this time. As a result payroll employment nationwide rose in November.

The largest increase in employment was in Texas (54,500), followed by California (47,400) and New York (24,900). The largest decrease in employment over the month occurred in Virginia (5,700), followed by Ohio (5,600) and Indiana (4,500). Between October and November 2017, in percentage terms, which adjust for the size of the state’s jobs market, the largest increases occurred in Texas (0.44%), Iowa (0.40%), and South Carolina (0.38%). During the same time period, the largest decreases occurred in Alaska (0.91%), North Dakota (0.62%), and Delaware (0.33%).

At the same time, the majority of the states and the District of Columbia had year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in November 2017 compared to year ago. Only four states, Connecticut, Wyoming, Alaska, and West Virginia declined, by a combined 11,200. During the previous 12 months, the largest job gains occurred in Texas (330,600), California (288,300), and Florida (195,000). The largest percentage gains occurred in Utah (2.85%), Texas (2.73%), and Nevada (2.66%), followed by Florida and Idaho (2.30%).

Nationwide, the unemployment rate was unchanged from October at 4.1% but was 0.5 percentage point lower than in November 2016. Compared to October 2017, the unemployment rate declined in 23 states and the District of Columbia, was unchanged in 12, and increased in 15 states in November 2017. Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in November, 2.0%, closely followed by North Dakota (2.6%), and Nebraska (2.7%). Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.2%, followed by the District of Columbia, 6.4% and New Mexico, 6.1%. Forty-two states had the jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, six states and the District of Columbia had an increase while Montana and Utah had no change.

In November, out of the 44 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 34 states had an increase, and 10 states had a decline compared with October 2017. Alaska had the largest increase in job growth with 4.46% followed by Indiana (3.65%) and West Virginia (2.52%). The largest decline was in Vermont where total employment in construction fell by 3.21%. Wyoming declined 2.90% and Connecticut declining 2.23% during this time.


Year-over-year, Nevada had the highest annual growth in its construction sector at 13.83%. Rhode Island (12.97%), and New Hampshire (10.04%) round out the top three. Over this period, Iowa had the largest decline at 7.55%, followed by Missouri (5.31%) and North Dakota (4.85%).

These tables provide more information about each individual state.

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