Employment Situation in February: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia in February compared to the previous month, while five states lost jobs. Oklahoma remained unchanged. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 311,000 in February, following a gain of 504,000 jobs in January.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in Texas, which added 58,200 jobs, followed by Florida (+38,800), and California (+32,300). Oregon, New Hampshire, Kansas, Arkansas, and Maryland lost a total of 8,600 jobs.  In percentage terms, employment in Utah increased by 0.6% while New Hampshire reported a 0.2% decline between January and February.

Year-over-year ending in February, 4.3 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 611,400 jobs in Texas to 2,500 jobs added in West Virginia. In percentage terms, Nevada reported the highest increase by 5.1%, while West Virginia increased by 0.4% 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 February compared to January, while 19 states lost construction sector jobs. Five states remained unchanged. California added 7,600 construction jobs, while Tennessee lost 1,700 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 24,000 jobs in February compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Rhode Island increased by 1.7% while Iowa reported a decline of 1.9% between January and February.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 249,000, which is a 3.2% increase compared to the February 2022 level. Texas added 37,900 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while West Virginia lost 2,200 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Rhode Island had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 12.4%. Over this period, West Virginia reported a decline of 6.5%.



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