New employment estimates published by the U.S. Department of Labor Monday depict an economic recovery that recently stalled in some states.
The unemployment rate ticked up in 30 states in July. In seven states, the increase was large enough to be considered statistically significant, led by Tennessee’s change of 0.5 percentage points. Other states with notable increases in their jobless rate included Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming (+0.4 percent each).
Only four states saw the jobless rate drop more than 0.1 percent: Colorado (-0.2 percent), Illinois (-0.3 percent), Rhode Island (-0.2 percent) and Washington (-0.2 percent).
Mississippi currently holds the dubious distinction of the state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 8 percent, while North Dakota has the lowest at 2.8 percent.
Here’s a map showing changes in states’ unemployment rates between June and July:
In terms of total employment, most states experienced little change over the month. Ohio shed an estimated 12,400 positions -- the most of any state -- followed by Maryland and South Carolina.
Going back a year, all states with the exception of Alaska recorded positive job gains. In 13 states, growth was fairly weak, increasing less than 1 percent over the past 12 months. The fastest-growing economy during that time period was oil-rich North Dakota, where payrolls increased 4.4 percent. Employers in Texas similarly reported job gains of 3.5 percent. Nevada also fared well over the past year after being among the states hardest hit by the Great Recession.
The following map shows percentage growth in total nonfarm employment, comparing last month’s estimates to July 2013: