(Bloomberg) — Employment is back at or above pre-pandemic levels in a dozen U.S. states.
Compared with February 2020, Arizona has added the most nonfarm jobs on its payrolls, followed by Florida, Utah, Wisconsin and Oregon, according to December data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In an additional 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, payrolls are within 50,000 jobs of recovering.
The remaining states are collectively missing about 3.5 million jobs, concentrated in three of the most populous states — California, New York and Pennsylvania — as well as Michigan. California alone is about 750,000 below its pre-Covid level.
The data show how uneven the recovery has been in the labor market, with most missing jobs located on the coasts.
Population growth and pandemic migration help explain why. Prediction data from BLS show that a net 8,600 people over 16 left New York state every month over the last 22 months.
By contrast, the population grew in Texas, Florida, and Arizona. The net gain in Texas equates to more than 950 people per day during the period.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
These 12 U.S. States Have Restored Employment to Pre-Covid Levels
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