BLS Reports on Unemployment by State

By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Employment Scene | May 21, 2023

Forceful economic trends have been repositioning the American population for years.  The latest BLS report confirms that this should continue.  It’s a useful way to find job centers and motivated Candidates.

The US Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the State Employment And Unemployment Summary on Friday, May 19.

(Be cautious, reading my notes.  The BLS report is the real thing!)
I’m just bringing you excerpts, along with a few of my first-impression comments.

Here’s what the report is showing…

States With High Unemployment (Percent)

We might assume that Candidates are more available from these states.

5.4 Nevada
5.0 District of Columbia
4.5 California
4.3 Delaware
4.3 Washington
4.2 Illinois
4.1 Pennsylvania
4.0 New York
4.0 Texas
3.4 U.S. average unemployment

Nevada leads the Unemployment list.  That caught me by surprise.
California and Washington are in trouble on the West Coast.
Illinois and New York have been a mess for a while.
I guess Pennsylvania falls in that group, too.
It’s concerning that Texas appears on this list.  Need to watch that.

States With Low Unemployment (Percent)

This is where the jobs are.

1.9 South Dakota
2.0 Nebraska
2.1 North Dakota
2.1 New Hampshire
2.2 Alabama
2.3 Montana
2.3 Utah
2.4 Maine
2.4 Vermont
2.4 Wisconsin
2.5 Maryland
2.5 Missouri
2.6 Florida
2.6 Idaho
2.7 Iowa
2.8 Arkansas
2.8 Colorado

The Dakotas have been performing well for some time.
In fact, the whole midsection of the US is relatively healthy.
I see the free state of Florida is looking strong.

12 Month Employment Increases

(Scoring the period from April 2022 to April 2023.)
This is where the most people went to work.

534,600 Texas (+4.0%)
426,000 California (+2.4%)
363,400 Florida (+3.9%)
233,800 New York (+2.5%)

The largest 12 Month percentage increases were…
Nevada (+4.2%)
Texas (+4.0%)
Florida (+3.9%)

Florida seems to be the most attractive.
Employment numbers in Florida now exceed New York.
Florida’s percentage growth is similar to Texas.
California’s workforce is twice the size of Florida’s.
But on a percentage basis, Florida’s growth is faster.

Nevada numbers look odd.  Here’s my interpretation…
A year ago, job growth must have gotten off to a strong start.
That’s over.  Unemployment looks pretty nasty today.

Jobs Migration

Who better, to verify these findings, than a moving company?

Happily, North American Van Lines publishes the 2022 Moving Migration Report.
And, indeed, there is some overlap…

Top Inbound States:
South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Colorado.

Top Outbound States:
Illinois, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York.
(They say Illinois has been the top Outbound State for nine years in a row.)

Take a look at North American’s report for more detail.
If you decide to use their moving services, be sure to tell them I sent you.

Recruiters View

These trends have been in the works for a long time.  My first picks…
Florida is doing exceptionally well.  It’s also a great place to live.
Texas is strong, but shows signs of stress.  (Illegal immigration problems?)
Also, the heartland seems particularly healthy.  Look for opportunities there.