California Leads Job Gains in August


Total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted (SA) increased by 2.1 million jobs, year-over-year (YoY), or 1.4% from August 2018 to August 2019. During this time, total nonfarm employment in the Western region increased by 2.1%. The South, Northeast, and Midwest recorded gains at 1.7%, 0.9% and 0.7% respectively, during this time.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 16 states in August compared to the previous month. California added 34,500 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state. The largest decline came from Oklahoma, which lost 8,700 jobs during this time. Nationwide, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 130,000 over the month of August, following an increase of 159,000 jobs in July.

Year-over-year, ending in August, all the states and the District of Columbia increased in employment. California added 314,200 workers while the smallest gain came from Vermont and Hawaii which added 600 workers during this time. In percentage terms, 19 states recorded annualized growth equal to and/or above 1.4% in employment, which was the national growth rate. Nevada recorded the highest growth rate at 3.0%. The strong gains in the West seem to contrast with some of the year-to-date weakness of permits in the West for the same period. The other states and the District of Columbia recorded annualized growth between 0.1%-1.3%.

In the construction sector specifically, which includes both residential and non-residential construction, across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data, 28 states had an increase in August, 20 states reported a decline compared to July. The construction industry as a whole gained 14,000 jobs in August. Florida added 4,100 jobs, the highest gains in construction employees while Tennessee lost 1,900 workers during this time.

Year-over-year, the U.S added 177,000 construction sector jobs which is a 2.4% increase compared to August 2018. Texas added 43,900, which was the largest gains of any state while Louisiana lost 10,100, which was the largest decline of any state. In percentage terms, North Dakota had the highest annual growth in construction sector by 12.1%. Over this period, Louisiana reported the largest decline at 6.6%.

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