Home / Articles / 11 states lost jobs in December. Michigan lost the most.

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that while the national unemployment rate stayed at 6.7% from last November to December, it fell in 19 states and increased in another 12, plus Washington, DC. The rate remained stable across the rest of the nation. The report also shows the 11 states where employment fell and 15 states where it rose, which together accounted for the net loss of 140,000 jobs reported last month. Michigan lost the most jobs — 64,400 — followed by California and Minnesota. Texas reported a high of 64,200 jobs added back to payrolls, and Hawaii and North Carolina each added 44,700 and 33,600 positions.

As a percentage of its November employment, Hawaii's job gains reflected the most growth, while relative losses were largest in Minnesota and Michigan.

While job growth in Hawaii continued, many other states stalled or faced further losses.

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The leisure and hospitality sector reported more jobs lost than any other industry in 29 states and Washington, DC. That included Minnesota and Michigan, where restaurants, bars, and hotels reported an almost 21% decline in employment between November and December. Compared to the pre-pandemic levels of December 2019, their employment was down 47% in Michigan and 44% in Minnesota.

Though Hawaii was in the minority of states that added leisure and hospitality jobs in December, total sector employment was still 37% below the year before.

As of December, 48 states and Washington, DC had lost leisure and hospitality jobs compared to a year prior.

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Hawaii continued to report the highest unemployment rate of any state: 9.3%. Nevada and California also reported unemployment rates at or above 9%. Meanwhile, Nebraska and South Dakota tied for the lowest unemployment rate, at 3%.

New Jersey, which dropped from a 10.2% unemployment rate in November to 7.6% in December, showed the largest improvement, followed by Arkansas, which dropped from 6.3% to 4.2%. Unemployment increased the most in Colorado, from 6.4% to 8.4%.

Hawaii, Nevada, and California had the highest unemployment rates in December.

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Idaho and Utah are the only states that reported the same employment levels in December as in 2019. Meanwhile, overall employment was down by as much as 13.8% in Hawaii, 10.9% in Michigan, and 10.4% in New York.

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State Employment and Unemployment Summary