Employment Situation in March: State-Level Analysis


Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia in March compared to the previous month while Alaska lost just 200 jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 916,000 in March, following an increase of 468,000 jobs in February.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California, which added 119,600 jobs, followed by Texas (+99,000) and New York (+63,700). In percentage terms, New Mexico employment increased by 1.3% while Alaska reported a 0.1% decline between February and March.

Year-over-year, ending in March, 6.7 million jobs were lost across the country as employment decreased in every state and the District of Columbia —except Utah (+14,800) Idaho (+10,900). The range of job losses spanned 5,200 lost in South Dakota to 1.4 million lost in California. In percentage terms, Hawaii reported the steepest decline at 16.0%, while Montana lost 1.1% of nonfarm payroll compared to a year ago. Nonfarm payroll employment in Idaho (+1.4%) and Utah (+0.9%) increased during this time.

Across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data—which includes both residential as well as non-residential construction—38 states reported an increase in March compared to February, while nine states lost construction sector jobs. New Hampshire reported no change. Texas added 19,100 construction jobs while Nevada lost 1,300. Overall, the construction industry gained 110,000 jobs in March compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Iowa increased by 10.3% while Nevada reported a decline of 1.4% between February and March.

Year-over-year, the U.S. lost 91,000 construction sector jobs, which is a 1.2% decrease compared to the March 2020 level. Utah added 6,400 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while Texas lost 35,400 jobs, which was the largest decline. In percentage terms, Idaho had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 7.0%. Over this period, Wyoming reported the largest decline at 12.7%.

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