Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Mar 13 2023

State Labor Markets in January 2023

State labor markets in January generally showed some gains from December. 20 states had statistically significant gains in payrolls; California’s job count increase was 96,700 (about double number 2 Texas), and both Arizona and Tennessee saw .7 percent gains. Kansas, Rhode Island, and Wyoming had modest point declines. Over the last 12 months, 47 states had significant increases, with Texas having the highest numerical increase (654,100) and Nevada the highest percentage gain (6.0). the way in both numbers and percentage (650,100 and 5.0, respectively). There were no point declines.

Unemployment rates were little-changed; a few states had statistically significant moves from December, but none larger than .2 percentage points (in either direction). The 2.1 percent rates in both Dakotas were the nation’s lowest, while Nevada’s 5.5 percent was far and away the highest (number two was Oregon). Only 6 states were more than one point away from the national average of 3.4%, and 3 of those (the Dakotas and Delaware) are small.

Puerto Rico’s gained more than 5,000 jobs in January. The overall payroll count on the island is nearing its highest level in more than a decade, while the private-sector is approaching an all-time peak. The unemployment rate (which had not been reported for some months) was unchanged at 6.0 percent, despite a .9 percent gain in the labor force. Revised data show that Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate set a record low of 5.8 percent last June. Data are not released for Puerto Rico on the labor force participation rate or the ratio of employment to population, but considering that the population of Puerto Rico is roughly the as Iowa’s, and its labor force is no more than 70% as large, it is clear that despite good numbers in recent years, there is still a long way to go before the island’s labor market can be seen as comparable to mainland norms.

  • Charles Steindel has been editor of Business Economics, the journal of the National Association for Business Economics, since 2016. From 2014 to 2021 he was Resident Scholar at the Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey. From 2010 to 2014 he was the first Chief Economist of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, with responsibilities for economic and revenue projections and analysis of state economic policy. He came to the Treasury after a long career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he played a major role in forecasting and policy advice and rose to the rank of Senior Vice-President. He has served in leadership positions in a number of professional organizations. In 2011 he received the William F. Butler Award from the New York Association for Business Economics, is a fellow of NABE and of the Money Marketeers of New York University, and has received several awards for articles published in Business Economics. In 2017 he delivered Ramapo College's Sebastian J. Raciti Memorial Lecture. He is a member of the panel for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters and of the Committee on Research in Income and Wealth. He has published papers in a range of areas, and is the author of Economic Indicators for Professionals: Putting the Statistics into Perspective. He received his bachelor's degree from Emory University, his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a National Association for Business Economics Certified Business EconomistTM.

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