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States Start 2015 With Strong Job Growth

Thirty-nine states added jobs in January, while half recorded declines in their unemployment rates. View data for each state.

map-unemployment
The U.S. Department of Labor released its first report Tuesday estimating state employment for 2015, providing hints at where the recovery may be accelerating. 

A total of 39 states reported job growth in January, while about half of states recorded declines in their unemployment rates. California added the most jobs for the month (+67,300), followed by Ohio (+25,100) and Michigan (+24,200). In terms of percentage change, Idaho saw its payrolls swell by 1.4 percent -- by far the largest increase of any state.

Meanwhile, three states registered monthly job losses that the Labor Department considered to be statistically significant: Virginia (-10,900), Louisiana (-7,500) and Maine (-3,400).

Following a sluggish recovery period, overall job growth ticked up in recent months. The Labor Department estimates that the economy added 295,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dipped to 5.5 percent.

Here’s a table comparing states' December employment estimates to preliminary totals for January:



State Change in Employment December 2014 January 2015
California 67,300 15,860,700 15,928,000
Ohio 25,100 5,369,900 5,395,000
Michigan 24,200 4,217,600 4,241,800
Texas 20,100 11,749,500 11,769,600
Washington 18,300 3,122,600 3,140,900
Missouri 14,300 2,744,600 2,758,900
Florida 13,900 7,965,700 7,979,600
New Jersey 12,400 3,982,300 3,994,700
New York 10,000 9,156,300 9,166,300
Utah 9,700 1,353,600 1,363,300
Idaho 9,300 659,100 668,400
Tennessee 8,300 2,850,900 2,859,200
Oregon 7,600 1,745,400 1,753,000
Arizona 6,900 2,607,300 2,614,200
Nevada 6,700 1,230,500 1,237,200
Connecticut 6,400 1,678,100 1,684,500
Indiana 5,500 3,012,100 3,017,600
Hawaii 5,500 626,000 631,500
Nebraska 4,700 996,800 1,001,500
Mississippi 4,600 1,124,500 1,129,100
South Carolina 4,200 1,975,200 1,979,400
Kentucky 3,900 1,880,000 1,883,900
Colorado 3,700 2,492,800 2,496,500
Iowa 3,100 1,559,100 1,562,200
Massachusetts 2,600 3,445,900 3,448,500
Alabama 2,400 1,942,800 1,945,200
Rhode Island 2,300 479,300 481,600
Arkansas 2,000 1,204,600 1,206,600
Montana 2,000 454,700 456,700
New Mexico 1,500 827,400 828,900
West Virginia 1,400 763,100 764,500
North Dakota 1,300 469,200 470,500
Oklahoma 1,100 1,668,300 1,669,400
Vermont 1,100 311,700 312,800
Alaska 1,000 340,600 341,600
Wyoming 900 295,000 295,900
Wisconsin 600 2,872,000 2,872,600
Maryland 500 2,641,300 2,641,800
South Dakota 100 424,700 424,800
North Carolina 0 4,203,100 4,203,100
Delaware -300 442,800 442,500
District of Columbia -1,200 761,400 760,200
Kansas -2,600 1,401,900 1,399,300
New Hampshire -2,800 653,000 650,200
Maine -3,400 604,700 601,300
Pennsylvania -3,500 5,825,500 5,822,000
Georgia -4,400 4,226,500 4,222,100
Illinois -7,100 5,907,000 5,899,900
Louisiana -7,500 1,996,600 1,989,100
Minnesota -7,900 2,831,400 2,823,500
Virginia -10,900 3,797,300 3,786,400

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment
Over the past 12 months, all states with the exception of Maine recorded net job growth. In 20 states, total payroll employment expanded by more than 2 percent.

Oil-rich North Dakota continues to lead the nation, with total employment climbing 4.3 percent since January 2014. Utah’s job growth (+4 percent) isn’t too far behind. Nevada, one of the hardest-hit states during the Great Recession, has also recorded among the best growth (+3.6 percent) of any state in recent months.

Darker states shown on this map experienced the strongest job growth, as measured by the percentage change in total employment from January 2014 to January 2015:



 
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