A Tommy Hilfiger employee, right, talks with job applicants during a job fair in Miami in October. Employment rose in nearly every state in 2014. (AP)
This story updates an article published on December 22, 2014, with additional data.
Every state added jobs over the course of 2014, with 16 states posting at least 2 percent employment growth, adding tens of thousands of jobs to their economies.
North Dakota, Texas and Utah led the way in job creation, with employment in North Dakota jumping 5.42 percent, according to a Stateline analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Texas’ job growth was 4 percent, and Utah’s was 3.86 percent.
On the other end, 11 states saw job creation of 1 percent or less, with employment in Mississippi essentially staying flat — as of December 2014, employment there stood at 1,120,300, up 0.02 percent from 1,120,100 in December 2013.
Alaska, New Jersey and Maryland followed as the next three states with the least job growth. Alaska added 2,000 jobs for an increase of 0.62 percent, followed by New Jersey’s 0.74 percent increase and Maryland’s 0.77 percent increase.
There was wide variation in states’ unemployment rates for December. Florida, Mississippi, Colorado and California all had jobless rates above 7 percent, the highest four rates in the country. Of the four, only Florida and Colorado saw their unemployment rates increase between December 2013 and December 2014.
North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah had the lowest unemployment rates among the states, all at 3.5 percent or lower.
The average state unemployment rate was 5.38 percent. On average, jobless rates fell 0.7 percentage points last year.