Employment–population ratios increased in 12 states in 2017

March 01, 2018

In 2017, employment–population ratios increased in 12 states, decreased in 2 states, and were little changed or unchanged in 36 states and the District of Columbia. North Dakota had the highest proportion of employed persons, 69.6 percent in 2017. The next highest ratios were in Minnesota, 67.8 percent, and Utah, 67.2 percent. West Virginia had the lowest employment–population ratio among the states, 50.5 percent.

Employment–population ratio by state, 2017 annual average
State Employment Civilian noninstitutional population Employment–population ratio

United States

153,337,000 255,079,000 60.1%

Alabama

2,073,000 3,830,000 54.1

Alaska

337,000 547,000 61.6

Arizona

3,151,000 5,462,000 57.7

Arkansas

1,304,000 2,325,000 56.1

California

18,393,000 30,990,000 59.4

Colorado

2,907,000 4,392,000 66.2

Connecticut

1,829,000 2,890,000 63.3

Delaware

455,000 766,000 59.4

District of Columbia

377,000 570,000 66.1

Florida

9,681,000 16,951,000 57.1

Georgia

4,822,000 8,007,000 60.2

Hawaii

669,000 1,096,000 61.1

Idaho

807,000 1,302,000 62.0

Illinois

6,171,000 10,060,000 61.3

Indiana

3,203,000 5,181,000 61.8

Iowa

1,626,000 2,455,000 66.2

Kansas

1,425,000 2,219,000 64.2

Kentucky

1,952,000 3,476,000 56.2

Louisiana

2,004,000 3,595,000 55.7

Maine

677,000 1,101,000 61.5

Maryland

3,086,000 4,764,000 64.8

Massachusetts

3,521,000 5,584,000 63.1

Michigan

4,657,000 7,944,000 58.6

Minnesota

2,958,000 4,365,000 67.8

Mississippi

1,215,000 2,289,000 53.1

Missouri

2,936,000 4,781,000 61.4

Montana

504,000 832,000 60.6

Nebraska

977,000 1,466,000 66.7

Nevada

1,389,000 2,349,000 59.1

New Hampshire

727,000 1,100,000 66.1

New Jersey

4,310,000 7,159,000 60.2

New Mexico

872,000 1,620,000 53.9

New York

9,249,000 15,941,000 58.0

North Carolina

4,717,000 8,030,000 58.7

North Dakota

404,000 580,000 69.6

Ohio

5,491,000 9,190,000 59.8

Oklahoma

1,756,000 2,997,000 58.6

Oregon

2,017,000 3,329,000 60.6

Pennsylvania

6,112,000 10,261,000 59.6

Rhode Island

530,000 862,000 61.5

South Carolina

2,214,000 3,948,000 56.1

South Dakota

440,000 659,000 66.7

Tennessee

3,080,000 5,278,000 58.4

Texas

12,961,000 21,261,000 61.0

Utah

1,510,000 2,248,000 67.2

Vermont

334,000 516,000 64.9

Virginia

4,146,000 6,606,000 62.8

Washington

3,547,000 5,829,000 60.9

West Virginia

738,000 1,462,000 50.5

Wisconsin

3,048,000 4,592,000 66.4

Wyoming

281,000 448,000 62.7

In 2017, the largest employment–population ratio increase among the states occurred in Colorado (+1.3 percentage points), followed by Georgia and Tennessee (+1.1 points each). Nine other states also had significant increases in their ratios. Two states had over-the-year decreases in their employment–population ratios: Nebraska (−0.5 percentage point) and New Hampshire (−0.4 point). The remaining 36 states and the District of Columbia had ratios that were not appreciably different from those of the previous year, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. The employment–population ratio is the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over who are employed. To learn more, see “Regional and State Unemployment – 2017 Annual Averages” (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment–population ratios increased in 12 states in 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/employment-population-ratios-increased-in-12-states-in-2017.htm (visited September 19, 2018).

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