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Economy in Brief

State Labor Markets in February 2022
by Charles Steindel  March 25, 2022

State payrolls were robust in February. 27 states saw statistically significant increases from January, led by California's 138,100 rise. Texas gained 77,800 jobs, and Florida was up 51,000. 19 other states had increases of more than 10,000. Nebraska had the largest percentage gain—1.2—while 4 other states had .8 percent increases. Over the last 12 months 48 states, plus DC, saw statistically significant increases in payroll employment. Unsurprisingly, California had the largest numerical increase (over 1 million) and Nevada the largest percentage increase (9.7).

Virtually all states saw job growth over the last 12 months. California picked up well over 1 million jobs; Nevada saw a 10.3 percent increase. Alabama, Ohio, South Dakota, and Delaware were the only states to report job growth under 2 percent

A whopping 31 states saw statistically significant drops in their unemployment rates in February; New Jersey's .5 percentage point decline was the largest. The range of unemployment rates across the nation continues to narrow. Again, DC was highest, at 6.1 percent. Among the 50 states, Nebraska and Utah continue to have the lowest rates (2.1 percent) and New Mexico the highest (5.6 percent).

Puerto Rico eked out a modest gain in payrolls in February. With a revision to January, the job count on the island is now over 900,000 for the first time since 2015. Unemployment continues to fall, with February's rate down .3 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

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