Economic Indicators | Jobs and Unemployment

Most states on a positive path, though sequestration’s impact could derail recovery

Monthly state employment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show continued signs of employment growth throughout all regions of the country. Today’s delayed release presents data for January 2013, following the annual benchmarking revision.

Between October 2012 and January 2013, eight states and the District of Columbia experienced declines in overall employment. All regions of the country saw modest employment growth between October and January, with the Northeast, South and West each experiencing 0.4 percent growth, and the Midwest trailing with 0.3 percent growth.  Four states—Nevada, Delaware, Minnesota and North Carolina—had employment growth of 1.0 percent or more during this time period.

MORE: Graphs and data from the latest employment and unemployment numbers on EPI’s State of Working America

For the first time since the end of the recession, there were no states experiencing double-digit unemployment in January, though there continued to be seven states—California, Rhode Island, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi and Illinois—with unemployment rates of 9.0 percent or more.

As cuts mandated by sequestration coincide with the process of developing state budgets, state policymakers face tough choices that could derail ongoing economic recovery.  Those that choose a path of austerity will see growth in their state economies curtailed.

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