Employment Situation in October: State-Level Analysis


Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 47 states and the District of Columbia in October compared to the previous month while three states lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 531,000 in October, following an upwardly revised increase of 312,000 jobs in September.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California, which added 96,800 jobs, followed by Texas (+56,600) and New York (+43,900). Wisconsin, Idaho, and Rhode Island lost a total of 4,400 jobs.  In percentage terms, Louisiana employment increased by 1.9% while Rhode Island reported a 0.4% decline between September and October.

Year-over-year ending in October, 5.8 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 811,200 jobs in California to 2,600 jobs added in Wyoming. In percentage terms, Hawaii reported the highest increase by 10.5%, while Wyoming increased by 1.0% 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— 33 states reported an increase in October compared to September, while 13 states lost construction sector jobs. Alabama and Virginia reported no change. Louisiana added 8,200 construction jobs while South Carolina lost 1,900. Overall, the construction industry added 44,000 jobs in October compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Louisiana increased by 7.1% while New Hampshire reported a decline of 2.2% between September and October.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 169,000, which is a 2.3% increase compared to the October 2020 level. California added 32,300 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while New York lost 11,400 jobs, which was the largest decline. In percentage terms, Rhode Island had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 9.9%. Over this period, Alaska reported the largest decline at 7.7%.


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