Nearly every state added jobs in 2014, and 14 states experienced an employment increase of 2 percent or more, according to a Stateline analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday.
Boosted by an oil and gas boom, North Dakota’s jobs total grew by 4.8 percent between December 2013 and November of this year, the largest increase of any state. Texas’s employment growth ranked second at 3.7 percent, and Utah was third at 3.4 percent. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia experienced employment growth of 1 percent or more.
More than a dozen states added at least 50,000 jobs, with populous states such as Texas, California and Florida leading the way. Texas’s 3.7 percent employment growth translated into nearly 417,000 additional jobs; in California, the increase was nearly 327,000 (2.1 percent); and in Florida, employment increased nearly 217,000 (2.8 percent).
Ten other states added at least 50,000 jobs. North Carolina had the biggest gain among these states, adding nearly 99,000 jobs (2.4 percent). The others, in descending order of jobs created, are Georgia, Washington, New York, Ohio, Arizona, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee and Massachusetts.
Just two states saw employment fall, albeit by small amounts. Mississippi and Alaska both lost about 1,000 jobs (declines of .08 percent and .4 percent, respectively). But those small decreases might evaporate in the coming months as analysts refine employment figures.
The unemployment rate fell in all but seven states: Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. North Dakota’s unemployment rate remained constant despite its job growth because of a huge influx of new workers.
Meanwhile, in eight states the unemployment rate declined at least 1.5 percentage points. In Illinois, the unemployment rate dropped 2.3 percentage points, the largest decrease of any state. The states with the next largest decreases were Rhode Island, Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky Idaho and Arkansas.
The numbers released last week are preliminary, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics might adjust them at the end of January. That is also when federal analysis will release December 2014 numbers, providing a complete picture for the entire year.
This article was written by JAKE GROVUM from Stateline.org and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.