PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The Latest Employment Data by State: Uninspiring Numbers

By at 22 October, 2021, 5:53 pm

by Raymond J. Keating –

The latest report on jobs by state from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics serves up some uninspiring numbers on employment.

According to the establishment survey, nonfarm payroll employment grew in 11 states in September compared to the previous month (seasonally adjusted data), with three states suffering declines, and the remaining 36 states unchanged.

In percentage terms, the largest gains in September occurred in Florida at 1.0 percent, Oklahoma at 0.8 percent, Texas at 0.8 percent, Alabama at 0.6 percent and Minnesota at 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, at the other end, the three states experiencing declines were Idaho at -0.6 percent, Vermont at -1.0 percent, and Louisiana -1.6 percent.

As for where each state stands in terms of payroll employment compared to pre-pandemic levels, as noted in the following table, only two states – Utah and Idaho – actually had employment levels in September 2021 that were higher than in February 2020.

Percent Change in Nonfarm Payroll Employment by State, February 2020 vs. September 2021

Rank State Percent Change in Payrolls from Feb 20-Sept 21
1 Utah 1.98
2 Idaho 1.74
3 Arizona -0.48
4 Arkansas -0.92
5 Texas -1.23
6 South Dakota -1.46
7 Georgia -1.59
8 Montana -1.59
9 Nebraska -1.88
10 North Carolina -1.94
11 Alabama -1.96
12 Tennessee -2.04
13 Mississippi -2.15
14 Florida -2.26
15 Missouri -2.29
16 Washington -2.45
17 Colorado -2.57
18 Iowa -2.73
19 West Virginia -2.87
20 Oklahoma -2.98
21 South Carolina -3.14
22 Kansas -3.30
23 Kentucky -3.32
24 Minnesota -3.62
25 Indiana -3.80
26 Oregon -3.84
27 Wisconsin -3.92
28 Maine -3.99
29 New Hampshire -4.14
30 Virginia -4.17
31 Ohio -4.34
32 Maryland -4.56
33 Delaware -4.89
34 Illinois -5.04
35 Connecticut -5.28
36 Massachusetts -5.29
37 California -5.31
38 Nevada -5.40
39 Rhode Island -5.53
40 North Dakota -5.62
41 Wyoming -5.68
42 New Jersey -5.69
43 Vermont -5.80
44 Pennsylvania -6.15
45 Michigan -6.29
46 New Mexico -6.36
47 Alaska -7.37
48 Louisiana -8.87
49 New York -9.02
50 Hawaii -12.48

 

While much of the attention on policy is focused on federal matters in Washington, D.C., what is done state by state matters as well. And just as the president and Congress need to step back from an anti-entrepreneur, anti-investment, anti-growth agenda of tax, regulatory and spending increases, the same goes for state lawmakers.

At the federal, state and local levels, the policy discussions should be all about how to support all of our businesses by providing tax and regulatory relief to incentivize entrepreneurship and private investment. After all, these undertakings are the engines of economic recovery and growth.

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

 

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