Employment Situation in December: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia in December compared to the previous month while five states lost jobs. Employment was unchanged in Utah. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in December, following an upwardly revised increase of 249,000 jobs in November.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in California, which added 50,700 jobs, followed by Texas (+50,000) and New York (+45,300). Vermont, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota combined lost a total of 5,600 jobs.  In percentage terms, West Virginia employment increased by 0.8% while South Dakota reported a 0.3% decline between November and December.

Year-over-year ending in December, 6.4 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 954,400 jobs in California to 2,600 jobs added in Wyoming. In percentage terms, Nevada reported the highest increase by 7.4%, while South Dakota increased by 0.8% 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— 31 states reported an increase in December compared to November, while 15 states lost construction sector jobs. Nevada and South Dakota reported no change. Texas added 10,400 construction jobs while Florida lost 3,400. Overall, the construction industry added 22,000 jobs in December compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, West Virginia increased by 4.6% while Alabama reported a decline of 0.9% between November and December.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 160,000, which is a 2.2% increase compared to the December 2020 level. Texas added 24,700 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while New York lost 15,900 jobs, which was the largest decline. In percentage terms, West Virginia had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 11.8%. Over this period, Alaska reported the largest decline at 5.8%.




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