WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released the April 2012 edition of its state-by-state snapshots which detail each individual state’s economic progress for the previous month. The report shows that three-in-five states gained private-sector jobs in March. Nationally, 121,000 private-sector positions were added during the month, a deceleration in the pace of job growth, following three straight months of private-sector job gains exceeding 200,000.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the JEC said, “As this state-by-state report highlights, Washington must continue to focus on legislation that creates jobs and must make sure businesses have the support they need to contribute to our economic recovery.
“Small businesses are at the center of the economy and vital to our recovery. Three out of every four workers in the United States are hired by a business with 250 employees or less. This is why Congress must pass the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012. This bill, which includes a small business payroll tax incentive similar to my legislation, will give small businesses a 10-percent income tax credit on new payroll for hiring new workers or increasing employee wages. It will make it easier for small businesses to grow while investing in their workforce.”
Report highlights include:
- Thirty states and the District of Columbia added private-sector jobs in March. From March 2011 – March 2012, North Dakota (8.6 percent), the District of Columbia (3.7 percent), and Texas (3.5 percent) had the largest percentage gains in private-sector employment. During this period, 2.1 million private-sector positions were added nationally.
Thirty states saw their unemployment rates decline in March, though only 7 states recorded statistically significant decreases. In the past 12 months, Michigan and Alabama reported the largest decline in the unemployment rate (-2.0 percentage points). The national unemployment rate during the month was 8.2 percent, down from 8.9 percent a year earlier.
Manufacturing employment expanded in 30 states in March. Nationally, the manufacturing sector accounted for more than 30 percent of the private-sector jobs gains during March. In the past 12 months, 32 states added manufacturing positions.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia added jobs in the professional and business services sector in March. In the past year, 39 states and the District of Columbia have added professional and business services jobs, with California, New York and Texas recording the largest gains. In the last year, 597,000 jobs were added in the professional and business services sector.
- Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia added jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector during March. In the past 12 months, 37 states and the District of Columbia added leisure and hospitality jobs. During this period, leisure and hospitality employment increased by 328,000 positions.
The report entitled “Understanding the Economy: State-by-State Snapshots,” features key economic statistics for each state. The report is the fourth edition released in 2012 by the Chairman of the JEC and uses recently released state-level data to explain how the economic recovery is unfolding in each state.
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