Employment Situation in December: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia in December compared to the previous month, while 18 states lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in December, following a gain of 256,000 jobs in November.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in Texas, which added 29,500 jobs, followed by Florida (+21,400), and Pennsylvania (+17,000). Eighteen states lost a total of 47,500 jobs.  In percentage terms, employment in Montana increased by 0.6% while West Virginia reported a 1.4% decline between November and December.

Year-over-year ending in December, 4.5 million jobs have been added, marking a more than full recovery of the labor market 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 650,100 jobs in Texas to 500 jobs added in Mississippi. In percentage terms, Texas reported the highest increase by 5.0%, while Mississippi was unchanged (0.0%) 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— 28 states reported an increase in December compared to November, while 20 lost construction sector jobs. California added 7,500 construction jobs, while Missouri lost 4,400 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 28,000 jobs in December compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Louisiana increased by 2.6% while North Dakota reported a decline of 6.4% between November and December.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 231,000, which is a 3.1% increase compared to the December 2021 level. California added 41,100 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while New Jersey lost 8,900 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Rhode Island had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 17.3%. Over this period, New Jersey reported a decline of 5.5%.


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