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Economy in Brief

State Labor Markets in July 2022
by Charles Steindel  August 19, 2022

State labor market results in June were generally strong. While 20 states had statistically significant increases in payrolls—led by Hawaii's 1.3 percent increase—2 saw significant declines. The outliers were Kentucky and Tennessee, and one suspects the flooding in that part of the nation played a role. Elsewhere, gains were more uniform. After Hawaii, the largest increases were .9 percent in Missouri and Arkansas. The largest absolute gain was California's 84,800. Over the last year all states had at least point increases in payrolls, though in a handful the gains weren't statistically significant. Alaska, Kansas, Vermont, and Wisconsin were the only states with increases less than 1 ½ percent. Texas's 5.8 percent gain (736,700) was the largest, though the absolute increase in California was very slightly larger.

Fourteen states, plus DC, saw declines in their unemployment rates in July, led by a .4 percentage point drop in New Mexico. Indiana, Montana, and Nebraska had statistically significant modest increases. DC's rate in July was 5.2 percent, and Minnesota's was 1.8 percent. The other 49 states had rates in the 2.0 to 4.5 percent range.

Puerto Rico's labor market also showed some improvement. The island gained 7,500 jobs (.8 percent) in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent—another record low for this series, which starts in 1976, and the first time the rate has been under 6 percent. However, the drop in the unemployment rate from June to July was an artifact of a decline in the labor force, as resident employment declined.

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