State Level Employment Situation: February 2024

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 43 states and the District of Columbia in February compared to the previous month, while seven states saw a decrease. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 275,000 in February, following a gain of 229,000 jobs in January .

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was most favorable in Texas, which added 49,800 jobs, followed by Illinois (+23,100), and then Michigan (+15,200). A total of 15,700 jobs were lost across seven states, with Florida reporting the steepest job losses at 5,500. In percentage terms, employment in Iowa increased the highest at 0.7%, while North Dakota saw the biggest decline at 0.2% between January and February.

Year-over-year ending in February, 2.7 million jobs have been added to the labor market. Except for Oregon, all other states and the District of Columbia added jobs compared to a year ago. The range of job gains spanned from 500 jobs in Hawaii to 291,400 jobs in Texas. Conversely, Oregon lost a total of 1,900 jobs on a year-over-year basis. In percentage terms, Nevada reported the highest increase at 3.4%, while Oregon showed the largest decrease at 0.1% compared to a year ago.

Across the nation, construction sector jobs data[1]—which includes both residential and non-residential construction— showed that 31 states reported an increase in February compared to January, while 17 states lost construction sector jobs. The remaining three, South Carolina, Vermont, and the District of Columbia reported no change on a month-over-month basis. Texas, with the highest increase, added 7,800 construction jobs, while California, on the other end of the spectrum, lost 9,600 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 23,000 jobs in February compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Alaska reported the highest increase at 4.9% and Minnesota reported the largest decline at 2.3%.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 215,000, which is a 2.7% increase compared to the February 2023 level. Texas added 32,200 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while New York lost 19,000 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Alaska had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector at 15.6%. Over this period, North Dakota reported the largest decline of 5.7%.

[1] For this analysis, BLS combined employment totals for mining, logging, and construction are treated as construction employment for the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Hawaii.



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