9:44 a.m.
Friday, 21 July 2017

State unemployment rates were generally little changed in July

Calexico, California, Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly higher in July. Forty-four states recorded unemployment rate increases, two states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and four states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, four states experienced increases, and two had no change. The national jobless rate, at 8.3 percent, was essentially unchanged from June but 0.8 percentage point lower than in July 2011.

In July 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 19 states. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in California (+25,200), followed by Michigan (+21,800) and Virginia (+21,300). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in New Jersey (-12,000), followed by Missouri (-7,700) and Illinois (-7,100). Vermont experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+0.8 percent), followed by Virginia (+0.6 percent) and the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, and Michigan (+0.5 percent each).

Alaska experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-1.0 percent), followed by Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Dakota (-0.4 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 41 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 9 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+6.8 percent), followed by California (+2.6 percent) and Oklahoma (+2.4 percent).

The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Rhode Island (-1.6 percent), followed by Wisconsin (-0.8 percent) and Alaska and Missouri (-0.5 percent each).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in July, 9.4 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.5 percent. Over the month, three regions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate changes: the Northeast (+0.3 percentage point), Midwest (+0.2 point), and South (+0.1 point). Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in the Midwest, South, and West (-1.1 percentage points each).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 10.0 percent in July. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 5.8 percent. Five divisions recorded statistically significant over- the-month unemployment rate changes: the East South Central, Middle Atlantic, and New England (+0.3 percentage point each) and the East North Central and South Atlantic (+0.2 point each). Eight divisions had measurable rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in the East North Central (-1.3 percentage points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.0 percent in July. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 10.8 and 10.7 percent, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.0 percent. In total, 23 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.3 percent, 8 states had measurably higher rates, and 19 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Eighteen states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes in July, all of which were increases. The largest of these increases occurred in Alabama and Alaska (+0.5 percentage point each). The remaining 32 states and the District of Columbia recorded 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.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia reported statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from July 2011, the largest of which occurred in Florida, Mississippi, and Nevada (-1.8 percentage points each). New York experienced the only statistically significant over-the-year increase in its unemployment rate (+0.9 percentage point).

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In July 2012, nine states recorded statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, seven of which were increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in California (+25,200), Michigan (+21,800), and Virginia (+21,300). Statistically significant declines in employment occurred in New Jersey (-12,000) and Alaska (-3,400).

Over the year, 27 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, 26 of which were increases. The largest increase occurred in California (+365,100), followed by Texas (+222,500), New York (+113,300), and Ohio (+100,300). The only decrease occurred in Rhode Island (-7,300).

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