Employment Situation in May: State-Level Analysis

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 39 states and the District of Columbia in May compared to the previous month, while 11 states lost jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 339,000 in May, following a gain of 294,000 jobs in April.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was strong in Texas, which added 51,000 jobs, followed by California (+47,300), and New York (+30,400). Eleven states lost a total of 20,500 jobs.  In percentage terms, employment in Utah increased by 0.5% while Vermont reported a 0.4% decline between April and May.

Year-over-year ending in May, 4.1 million jobs have been added, marking a more than full recovery of the labor market from the COVID-19 pandemic induced recession. Except for Rhode Island, all the other states and District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned 529,800 jobs in Texas to 2,200 jobs added in West Virginia. Rhode Island lost 2,100 jobs on a year-over-year basis. In percentage terms, Texas reported the highest increase by 4.0%, while Rhode Island decreased 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— 23 states reported an increase in May compared to April, while 21 states lost construction sector jobs. Four states, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, and West Virginia reported no change on a month-over-month basis. California added 6,500 construction jobs, while Indiana lost 2,500 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 25,000 jobs in May compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Louisiana increased by 1.3% while Rhode Island reported a decline of 4.9% between April and May.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 192,000, which is a 2.5% increase compared to the May 2022 level. Texas added 21,100 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while Colorado lost 1,800 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Arkansas had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector by 10.2%. Over this period, Connecticut reported a decline of 2.6%.


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