Employment Situation in April: State-Level Analysis


Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and the District of Columbia in April compared to the previous month while 17 states lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, following an increase of 770,000 jobs in March.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California, which added 101,800 jobs, followed by New York (+29,200) and Colorado (+17,000). Seventeen states lost a total of 78,300 jobs, the largest decline was reported in Michigan which lost 19,200 jobs.  In percentage terms, Hawaii employment increased by 1.8% while Alabama reported a 0.6% decline between March and April.

Year-over-year ending in April, 14.1 million jobs have been recovered marking the economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic induced recession. All the states and District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned 1.3 million in California to 12,300 jobs added in Wyoming. In percentage terms, Michigan reported the highest increase at 21.1%, while the District of Columbia increased 2.2% compared to a year ago.

Across the 48 states which reported construction sector jobs data—which includes both residential as well as non-residential construction—24 states reported an increase in April compared to March, while 21 states lost construction sector jobs. Three states reported no change. Illinois added 4,000 construction jobs while Texas lost 13,600. Overall, the construction industry remined unchanged in April compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, New Hampshire increased by 3.2% while Iowa reported a decline of 3.9% between March and April.

Year-over-year, the U.S. increased by 917,000 construction sector jobs, which is a 14.0% increase compared to the April 2020 level. California added 147,100 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while Wyoming lost 1,000 jobs, which was the largest decline. In percentage terms, Michigan had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 64.2%. Over this period, Wyoming reported the largest decline at 4.8%.

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