Northeast and Midwest Lags in Job Gains in August


Over the year, total nonfarm employment in August increased by 2.3 million jobs which is a 1.6% increase compared to August 2017. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western region increased by 2.4% and the Southern region increased by 2.1%. The Midwest recorded the lowest gains at 1.3% during this time.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 38 states and decreased in 11 states and the District of Columbia in August 2018 compared to July 2018. Alaska reported no change during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 201,000 over the month of August, a higher level than the increase of 147,000 jobs in July.

Year-over-year, 48 states and the District of Columbia increased in employment while two states, Alaska and Vermont, lost payroll employment during the month of August. The same number of states increased and decreased (Alaska and North Dakota) in employment over the year ending in July.

Year-over-year, ending in August, 23 states recorded annualized growth equal to and/or above 1.6% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Utah recorded the highest growth rate at 3.5%, adding 51,900 workers during this time. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia recorded annualized growth between 0.4%-1.5% while Alaska and Vermont recorded declines in employment.

In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 44 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 31 states had an increase in August, 12 states reported a decline, and Alaska remained unchanged compared to July. Between July and August 2018, North Dakota had the largest increase in construction job growth with 2.6% while the largest decline was in Kentucky where total construction employment fell by 1.8%. Construction sector posted a net gain of 23,000 jobs which is 0.3 percentage points higher than in July.

Year-over-year, the U.S added 297,000 construction sector jobs which is a 4.3% increase compared to August 2017. New Hampshire had the highest annual growth in construction sector by 11.3%. Nevada (11.2%) and Georgia (10.4%) round out the top three. Over this period, New Jersey reported the largest decline at 4.2%, followed by Kentucky (-3.4%) and Missouri (-0.8%).

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