BLS Employment Data for May: Seven States Show Gains

By at 26 June, 2024, 11:23 am

by Raymond J. Keating –

Within the national employment story, there are 50 separate chapters. And often times, the tales can be very different from chapter to chapter.

This reality is reflected in the monthly state employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The May 2024 report shows that nonfarm payroll employment grew in seven states compared to April. Those states were:

● Idaho (+7,600 in employment, or +0.9 percent)

● New Jersey (+16,500 in employment, or +0.4 percent)

● Ohio (+21,200 in employment, or +0.4 percent)

● Washington (+16,000 in employment, or +0.4 percent)

● Pennsylvania (+19,800 in employment, or +0.3 percent)

● Texas (+41,800 in employment, or +0.3 percent)

The other 43 states were effectively flat in terms of employment growth in May versus April.

Over the past year, 30 states experienced nonfarm employment growth, while 20 were essentially unchanged.

The top gainers in terms of total employment were:

● Texas (+316,700)

● Florida (+222,200)

● California (+207,700)

● New York (+153,500)

● Pennsylvania (+97,100)

In percentage terms, the largest gainers were:

● Alaska (+3.5 percent)

● South Carolina (+3.5 percent)

● Nevada (+3.3 percent)

● Idaho (+3.1 percent)

● Missouri (+2.8 percent)

While not exactly a robust report, the positive news turns out to be that no states suffered statistically significant declines in jobs.

When looking at these job numbers, as well as state GDP numbers, the key question from a policy perspective is: Are state and local lawmakers making it less or more costly to start up, build and invest in businesses, and in turn, to generate job opportunities?

That means assessing tax and regulatory burdens, and providing significant and permanent relief where needed.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest books on the economy are The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist, The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist and The Weekly Economist III: Another 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.


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