No Job Growth in May for 49 States

By at 21 June, 2019, 4:11 pm


by Raymond J. Keating-

More data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reinforced the story that job growth was poor in May.

Released early this month, the May BLS employment report pointed to a slowdown in job growth. (See SBE Council analysis of that May jobs report here.) The BLS’s release of its state employment report on June 21 didn’t improve the jobs picture for May. In fact, it became more troubling.

First, the BLS noted, “Nonfarm payroll employment increased in Washington in May 2019 and was essentially unchanged in 49 states and the District of Columbia.”

Second, it was reported, “Over the year, 24 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 26 states and the District were essentially unchanged.”

So, only one state saw actual job growth in May, and less than half the states experienced growth over this past year.

In terms of finding a silver lining, it’s worth noting that out of the top seven states in terms of job growth from May 2018 to May 2019 – with growth of 2.1 percent growth or better – six ranked in the top 10 states on SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth.” The Index ranks the 50 states according to 62 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures. Those six states were Texas (#1 on the Index), Nevada (#2), Florida (#3), Utah (#7), Arizona (#9) and Washington (#10).

That provides another important reminder that policy matters in terms of economic performance – across the nation and state by state.


Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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