Regional and State Unemployment Rates Stable in August

September 24th, 2013 by DWM Magazine

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases, 17 states had decreases and 15 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, 12 states had increases, and two states had no change. The national jobless rate was little changed from July at 7.3 percent and was 0.8 percentage point lower than in August 2012.

In August 2013, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 29 states, decreased in 20 states and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in Montana. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in New York (+30,400) and California (+29,100). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Georgia (-16,100), followed by Ohio (-8,200) and Arizona (-7,900). The largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in Nevada (+1.0 percent), followed by Louisiana (+0.7 percent). The largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment occurred in Connecticut and Georgia (-0.4 percent each), followed by Arizona and the District of Columbia (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in Alaska. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+3.0 percent), followed by Idaho (+2.8 percent) and Utah (+2.6 percent). The only over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Alaska (-0.5 percent).

For seasonally adjusted regional employment in August, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 8.0 percent, while the South had the lowest rate, 7.2 percent. Over the month, no region had a statistically significant unemployment rate change. Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in three regions: the West (-1.2 percentage points), Northeast (-0.6 point), and South (-0.5 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific had the highest jobless rate, 8.4 percent in August. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 5.5 percent. No division had a statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change. Four divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier: the Pacific (-1.4 percentage points), South Atlantic (-0.9 point), and Middle Atlantic and Mountain (-0.8 point each).

Seasonally adjusted state unemployment saw Nevada with the highest unemployment rate among the states in August, 9.5 percent. The next highest rate was in Illinois, 9.2 percent. North Dakota continued to have the lowest jobless rate, 3.0 percent. In total, 15 states had jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.3 percent, 11 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 24 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Two states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes in August: Alaska (+0.2 percentage point) and Indiana (-0.3 point). The remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. Fourteen states had statistically significant unemployment rate changes from August 2012, all of which were declines. The largest of these occurred in Florida (-1.6 percentage points).

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