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News from EPI Summer ends on a high note for most states

The State and Regional Employment report for August, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that the positive trends experienced by most states continued through the summer in 2018, as only six states saw job losses and a majority saw steady or falling unemployment rates.

“Earlier this month, we learned that household incomes went up and poverty rates declined in most states in 2017. These indicators correspond with the data we’ve seen so far in 2018, as states continue their monthly march toward full employment and tight labor markets for workers,” said economic analyst Janelle Jones. “The hope is that with continued job growth we will see other economic indicators move in the right direction for working people.”

From June to August, 44 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Wyoming (1.2 percent), Arizona (1.0 percent), Nevada (1.0 percent), Utah (1.0 percent), and North Dakota (0.9 percent) having the highest percent change in job growth. Over the last three months, the number of jobs fell in six states: West Virginia (-0.9 percent), Alaska (-0.7 percent), Vermont (-0.6 percent), Louisiana (-0.3 percent), Maine (-0.3 percent), and South Dakota (-0.1 percent). This is an increase from the five states that experienced job losses in last month’s report.

From June to August, unemployment rates fell in 31 states. South Carolina (-0.6 percentage points), Alaska (-0.5 percentage points), Michigan (-0.5 percentage points), New Mexico (-0.5 percentage points), Georgia (-0.4 percentage points), Pennsylvania (-0.4 percentage points), and Rhode Island (-0.4 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment rates. Over those same months, the unemployment rate increased in 14 states—up from 13 states in last month’s report. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Louisiana (0.4 percentage points), Maine (0.4 percentage points), Indiana (0.3 percentage points), Kentucky (0.3 percentage points), and Ohio (0.3 percentage points).