12:39 p.m.
Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Jobless rates up in 26 states, down in 12 in Aug

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-six states recorded unemployment rate increases, 12 states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and 12 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, seven states experienced increases, and one had no change. The national jobless rate edged down to 8.1 percent from July and was 1.0 percentage point lower than in August 2011.

In August 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 28 states, decreased in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in Colorado. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Texas (+38,000), followed by Florida (+23,200) and Missouri (+17,900). The largest over-the-month decreases in employment occurred in Virginia (-12,400), the District of Columbia (-11,200), and Washington (-8,800). Hawaii, Missouri, and Oklahoma experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increases in employment (+0.7 percent each). The District of Columbia experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-1.5 percent), followed by Vermont (-0.8 percent) and New Mexico (-0.7 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 42 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 8 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+6.7 percent), followed by Oklahoma (+2.9 percent) and Texas (+2.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in New Mexico (-1.7 percent), followed by West Virginia (-0.7 percent) and Rhode Island (-0.6 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in August, 9.4 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.5 percent. Over the month, the Northeast experienced the only statistically significant unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Significant over-the-year rate changes were registered in the Midwest and West (-1.0 percentage point each) and South (-0.9 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 10.0 percent in August. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 5.9 percent. New England was the only division to experience a statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Seven divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in the East North Central and Pacific (-1.1 percentage points each).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.1 percent in August. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 10.7 and 10.6 percent, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.0 percent. In total, 21 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.1 percent, 12 states had measurably higher rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.


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