The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that Michigan added the most net new jobs in May, hiring an additional 4,500 workers for the month on net. This speaks to the continued rebound of the automotive sector, which added 5,000 employees nationally in May and 10,100 year-to-date. Other states with the most manufacturing jobs hired in May included Minnesota (up 2,900), Ohio (up 2,900), Missouri (up 2,100), Texas (up 1,500), and South Carolina (up 1,400).
Many of these same states had observed the biggest gains in manufacturing employment through the first five months of 2014. For instance, Ohio gets the prize for the largest employment gains among manufacturers year-to-date, adding 7,300 workers on net from January through May. Missouri (up 6,100), Minnesota (up 5,700), Indiana (up 5,100), and Texas (up 5,000) rounded out the top five states.
Looking at the unemployment rate, the state with the lowest rate continues to be North Dakota (2.6 percent), with shale exploration helping to propel economic growth and fuel a skills shortage. Vermont (3.3 percent), Nebraska (3.6 percent), Utah (3.6 percent), South Dakota (3.8 percent), and Wyoming (3.8 percent) also have super-low unemployment rates. At the other end of the spectrum, the state with the highest unemployment rate was Rhode Island (8.2 percent), closely followed by Nevada (7.9 percent), Kentucky (7.7 percent), Mississippi (7.7 percent), and California (7.6 percent).
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.