State Level Employment Situation: May 2024

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 41 states and the District of Columbia in May compared to the previous month, while nine states saw a decrease. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 272,000 in May, following a gain of 165,000 jobs in April.

On a month-over-month basis, employment data was most favorable in California, which added 43,700 jobs, followed by Texas (+41,800), and then New York (+21,700). A total of 19,400 jobs were lost across the nine states, with Minnesota reporting the steepest job losses at 8,600. In percentage terms, employment increased the highest in Idaho at 0.9%, while Minnesota saw the biggest decline at 0.3% between April and May.

Year-over-year ending in May, 2.8 million jobs have been added to the labor market across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The range of job gains spanned from 1,300 jobs in Oregon to 316,700 jobs in Texas. In percentage terms, the range of job growth spanned 3.5% in Alaska and South Carolina to 0.1% in Oregon.

Across the nation, construction sector jobs data1 —which includes both residential and non-residential construction—showed that 26 states reported an increase in May compared to April, while 22 states and the District of Columbia lost construction sector jobs. The two remaining states, North Dakota and Rhode Island reported no change on a month-over-month basis. Ohio, with the highest increase, added 7,000 construction jobs, while Tennessee, on the other end of the spectrum, lost 1,700 jobs. Overall, the construction industry added a net 21,000 jobs in May compared to the previous month. In percentage terms, Ohio reported the highest increase at 3.0% and Maine reported the largest decline at 2.1%.

Year-over-year, construction sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 251,000, which is a 3.1% increase compared to the May 2023 level. Texas added 35,000 jobs, which was the largest gain of any state, while Maryland lost 5,000 construction sector jobs. In percentage terms, Alaska had the highest annual growth rate in the construction sector at 20.4%. Over this period, the District of Columbia reported the largest decline of 3.3%.

  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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