The Market Employment Summary for February 2022
Published On: March 15, 2022
Editor's Note: This report is based on survey data from January 2022 that was published in March 2022. This is the most recent data available. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Because of some unusual quirks in the timing of the latest economic reporting releases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state unemployment summary for data collected throughout January was released a month later than the schedule typically dictates.
As a result, it could be argued that this data is somewhat outdated, especially given that the employment situation reports for data collected through February were already released.
Still, because we know that the unemployment rate was at 4% nationally when this state-level data was collected and that the unemployment will continue trending down by a couple tenths of a percentage point in the following month’s reporting, this data is best viewed through a forward-looking lens. As such, consider this report a snapshot of conditions primed to continue improving.
Below is the breakdown of the BLS’ market employment summary for February 2022.
States With the Highest Unemployment Rates
Washington, D.C., was the “state” with the highest unemployment rate through the first month of the new year, overtaking California and Nevada. At 6.3%, D.C.’s unemployment rate was nearly 60% greater than the national average.
At 5.9%, New Mexico had the next highest unemployment rate after Washington, D.C., followed by California, which was down a tenth of a point over the month to 5.8%.
Overall, only Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., saw unemployment rate increases last month, while 19 states had unemployment rate reductions and 29 states saw no significant month-to-month change.
States With the Lowest Unemployment Rates
While Nebraska continued to be the state with the lowest unemployment rate– just as it was the majority of last year–this time it was joined by Utah at the top of the list with 2.2% unemployment each.
Indiana had the third lowest state unemployment rate at 2.4% in part because it was able to achieve the largest monthly decrease among all states at 0.3% over the period (tied with Rhode Island).
Over the past 12 months, Nevada has led the nation with a total decrease in unemployment rate at - 5%.
States With New Job Gains
New jobs gains in January were concentrated among nine states (under 20%) while the remaining states held stable.
Most new jobs were added to payrolls in California, which claimed about 54k new positions, while New York and Pennsylvania rounded out the top three with about 36k and 20k new jobs, respectively.
Regarding states with the largest percentage increase to their payrolls, however, Kansas and Maine came out ahead at 0.6% increase each, followed by South Carolina and Utah that both increased their total jobs figure by half a percentage point.
Mployer Advisor’s Take:
January was a solid month for the U.S. economy, and we already know that February saw an even stronger economic performance. What remains to be seen is how broadly those new jobs gains will be distributed and, of course, where.
Fortunately, because of the quirky release scheduling noted above, the next state-level data report covering information collected in February is due out at the end of next week, so we won’t have to wait long for those questions to be answered.
Looking for more exclusive content? Check out the Mployer Advisor blog, or review last month's market employment summary here. If you would like more specific market summary data, click here to learn more about Mployer Advisor's monthly Market Employment Summary report.
Director of Content, Mployer Advisor