State Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, March 24, 2017                         USDL-17-0355

Technical information:
 Employment:    (202) 691-6559  *  sminfo@bls.gov    *  www.bls.gov/sae
 Unemployment:  (202) 691-6392  *  lausinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/lau

Media contact:  (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                   STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- FEBRUARY 2017


Unemployment rates were significantly lower in February in 10 states, higher in 1 state,
and stable in 39 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Nine states had notable jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, and 41
states and the District had no significant change. The national unemployment rate, at 4.7
percent, was little changed from January but 0.2 percentage point lower than in February
2016.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 11 states in February 2017 and was essentially
unchanged in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 31 states added nonfarm
payroll jobs, 2 states lost jobs, and 17 states and the District were essentially unchanged.

Unemployment

New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rate in February, 2.7 percent, closely followed
by Hawaii and South Dakota, 2.8 percent each, and Colorado and North Dakota, 2.9 percent
each. The rates in both Arkansas (3.7 percent) and Oregon (4.0 percent) set new series lows.
(All state series begin in 1976.) New Mexico had the highest jobless rate, 6.8 percent,
followed by Alaska and Alabama, 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. In total, 19
states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 4.7 percent, 6
states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not
appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 1.)

In February, 10 states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases, the largest
of which was in West Virginia (-0.4 percentage point). The only notable rate increase
occurred in Massachusetts (+0.2 percentage point). The remaining 39 states and the District
of Columbia had jobless rates that were not significantly different from those of a month
earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant
changes. (See table B.)

Nine states had statistically significant unemployment rate changes from February 2016, all
of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in Nevada (-1.2 percentage
points), West Virginia (-1.1 points), and South Carolina (-1.0 point). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Eleven states had statistically significant over-the-month increases in nonfarm payroll
employment in February 2017. The largest increases in employment over the month occurred
in Illinois (+25,600), Ohio (+15,200), and New Jersey (+12,600). In percentage terms, the
largest increases occurred in Montana and Nebraska (+0.6 percent each), followed by Arkansas
and New Mexico (+0.5 percent each). (See tables D and 3.)

Thirty-one states had statistically significant over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment in February. The largest job gains occurred in California (+315,800), Florida
(+248,800), and Texas (+222,400). The largest percentage gains occurred in Idaho (+3.6
percent), Utah (+3.3 percent), and Nevada (+3.2 percent). Two states had significant over-
the-year declines in employment: Wyoming (-7,200, or -2.5 percent) and Alaska (-6,700, or
-2.0 percent). (See table E.)

_____________
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for February is scheduled
to be released on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The State Employment
and Unemployment news release for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 21,
2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
                   
                   
                   
Table A. States with unemployment rates significantly different
from that of the U.S., February 2017, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States (1) ...................|           4.7
                                     |
Alabama .............................|           6.2
Alaska ..............................|           6.4
Arkansas ............................|           3.7
Colorado ............................|           2.9
District of Columbia ................|           5.7
Georgia .............................|           5.3
Hawaii ..............................|           2.8
Idaho ...............................|           3.6
Illinois ............................|           5.4
Iowa ................................|           3.2
                                     |
Kansas ..............................|           4.0
Louisiana ...........................|           5.8
Maine ...............................|           3.2
Massachusetts .......................|           3.4
Minnesota ...........................|           4.0
Montana .............................|           3.8
Nebraska ............................|           3.2
New Hampshire .......................|           2.7
New Mexico ..........................|           6.8
North Dakota ........................|           2.9
                                     |
Oregon ..............................|           4.0
South Dakota ........................|           2.8
Utah ................................|           3.1
Vermont .............................|           3.0
Virginia ............................|           3.9
Wisconsin ...........................|           3.7
--------------------------------------------------------------
   1 Data are not preliminary.
   p = preliminary.

   
Table B. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from January 2017 to February 2017, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-month
             State              |  January  |  February |    change(p)
                                |    2017   |   2017(p) |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Georgia ........................|     5.5   |     5.3   |      -0.2
Illinois .......................|     5.7   |     5.4   |       -.3
Iowa ...........................|     3.4   |     3.2   |       -.2
Kansas .........................|     4.1   |     4.0   |       -.1
Maine ..........................|     3.5   |     3.2   |       -.3
Massachusetts ..................|     3.2   |     3.4   |        .2
Mississippi ....................|     5.5   |     5.2   |       -.3
Oregon .........................|     4.3   |     4.0   |       -.3
Pennsylvania ...................|     5.2   |     5.0   |       -.2
Washington .....................|     5.1   |     4.9   |       -.2
West Virginia ..................|     5.6   |     5.2   |       -.4
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table C. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from February 2016 to February 2017, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------|  Over-the-year
             State              |  February |  February |    change(p)
                                |    2016   |   2017(p) |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
California .....................|     5.6   |     5.0   |      -0.6
Iowa ...........................|     3.8   |     3.2   |       -.6
Nevada .........................|     6.1   |     4.9   |      -1.2
New York .......................|     4.9   |     4.4   |       -.5
Oregon .........................|     4.9   |     4.0   |       -.9
South Carolina .................|     5.4   |     4.4   |      -1.0
Washington .....................|     5.6   |     4.9   |       -.7
West Virginia ..................|     6.3   |     5.2   |      -1.1
Wyoming ........................|     5.3   |     4.7   |       -.6
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table D.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
January 2017 to February 2017, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |             |             | Over-the-month change(p)
           State              |   January   |   February  |---------------------------
                              |     2017    |    2017(p)  |    Level    |   Percent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arkansas .....................|   1,234,900 |   1,241,000 |       6,100 |      0.5
Georgia ......................|   4,440,200 |   4,452,200 |      12,000 |       .3
Illinois .....................|   6,029,400 |   6,055,000 |      25,600 |       .4
Maryland .....................|   2,744,000 |   2,755,500 |      11,500 |       .4
Montana ......................|     474,300 |     477,300 |       3,000 |       .6
Nebraska .....................|   1,018,800 |   1,024,700 |       5,900 |       .6
New Jersey ...................|   4,117,600 |   4,130,200 |      12,600 |       .3
New Mexico ...................|     833,500 |     837,600 |       4,100 |       .5
Ohio .........................|   5,506,800 |   5,522,000 |      15,200 |       .3
Oregon .......................|   1,853,200 |   1,861,400 |       8,200 |       .4
Wisconsin ....................|   2,939,700 |   2,950,800 |      11,100 |       .4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table E.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
February 2016 to February 2017, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |             |             | Over-the-year change(p)
           State              |   February  |   February  |---------------------------
                              |     2016    |    2017(p)  |    Level    |    Percent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ......................|   1,967,500 |   1,996,600 |      29,100 |      1.5
Alaska .......................|     336,000 |     329,300 |      -6,700 |     -2.0
Arizona ......................|   2,680,900 |   2,739,100 |      58,200 |      2.2
Arkansas .....................|   1,224,700 |   1,241,000 |      16,300 |      1.3
California ...................|  16,360,300 |  16,676,100 |     315,800 |      1.9
Colorado .....................|   2,581,200 |   2,631,500 |      50,300 |      1.9
Florida ......................|   8,294,200 |   8,543,000 |     248,800 |      3.0
Georgia ......................|   4,338,200 |   4,452,200 |     114,000 |      2.6
Idaho ........................|     688,400 |     712,900 |      24,500 |      3.6
Illinois .....................|   6,008,000 |   6,055,000 |      47,000 |       .8
                              |             |             |             |       
Indiana ......................|   3,074,400 |   3,113,800 |      39,400 |      1.3
Kentucky .....................|   1,909,800 |   1,936,200 |      26,400 |      1.4
Maryland .....................|   2,697,700 |   2,755,500 |      57,800 |      2.1
Massachusetts ................|   3,545,900 |   3,603,600 |      57,700 |      1.6
Michigan .....................|   4,294,400 |   4,377,000 |      82,600 |      1.9
Minnesota ....................|   2,884,400 |   2,921,300 |      36,900 |      1.3
Missouri .....................|   2,826,500 |   2,880,500 |      54,000 |      1.9
Montana ......................|     466,000 |     477,300 |      11,300 |      2.4
Nevada .......................|   1,283,400 |   1,324,600 |      41,200 |      3.2
New Hampshire ................|     666,400 |     677,500 |      11,100 |      1.7
                              |             |             |             |       
New Jersey ...................|   4,056,500 |   4,130,200 |      73,700 |      1.8
New York .....................|   9,361,700 |   9,496,900 |     135,200 |      1.4
North Carolina ...............|   4,309,300 |   4,386,100 |      76,800 |      1.8
Ohio .........................|   5,476,600 |   5,522,000 |      45,400 |       .8
Oregon .......................|   1,821,500 |   1,861,400 |      39,900 |      2.2
Pennsylvania .................|   5,867,600 |   5,941,600 |      74,000 |      1.3
South Carolina ...............|   2,042,300 |   2,074,300 |      32,000 |      1.6
Tennessee ....................|   2,944,800 |   3,010,900 |      66,100 |      2.2
Texas ........................|  11,975,800 |  12,198,200 |     222,400 |      1.9
Utah .........................|   1,411,000 |   1,456,900 |      45,900 |      3.3
                              |             |             |             |
Virginia .....................|   3,904,200 |   3,957,700 |      53,500 |      1.4
Washington ...................|   3,206,600 |   3,294,500 |      87,900 |      2.7
Wyoming ......................|     285,600 |     278,400 |      -7,200 |     -2.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.
   
   
   

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Last Modified Date: March 24, 2017